Pak Army chief backs Imran Khan’s peace initiatives

Pak Army chief backs Imran Khan’s peace initiatives

Karachi, Dec 23: Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has backed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s peace initiatives, saying the new government has extended a hand of peace and friendship towards India with utmost sincerity but it should not be taken as Islamabad’s weakness.
Addressing the passing out parade of Midshipmen and Short Service Course at the Naval Academy in Karachi, Bajwa said that Pakistan was “a peace loving country and believes in peace”.
Lauding the efforts of Prime Minister Khan’s government to achieve peace between Pakistan and India, the army chief said peace benefits everyone and it is time to fight disease, poverty and illiteracy instead of fighting against each other.
“Our new government has extended a hand of peace and friendship towards India with utmost sincerity but it should not be taken as our weakness,” Bajwa said.
The powerful army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 71 years, has always wielded considerable power in the matters of foreign policy.
The Indo-Pak ties strained after the attacks by militants in 2016 and India’s surgical strikes inside Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The ties further nose-dived in 2017 with no bilateral talks talking place between them.
Amidst deadly skirmishes along the Line of Control and diplomatic bickering for better part of 2018, the consensus on both sides to open the Kartarpur corridor for Indian Sikh pilgrims has created a ray of hope for improvement in Indo-Pak ties.
“Wars bring death, destruction and misery for the people. Ultimately all issues are resolved on the table through negotiations that is why we are trying very hard to help bring a lasting peace in Afghanistan by supporting Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace plan,” Bajwa said.