MUZAFFARABAD: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has asked India to adopt the course of dialogue for peace and progress in the region instead of resorting to provocative statements and ceasefire violations.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Bajwa made the suggestion to India’s civilian and military leadership during a visit to the restive Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Wednesday.
Gen Bajwa pointed out that lately there had been a surge in ceasefire violations by India and rhetoric of provocative statements by its military leadership.
“We are a professional and combat hardened army ready to defend our motherland … It would be better if they [India] realise this and place their stock in peace and progress through dialogue,” he said.
Earlier, the general officer commanding of the area updated the army chief on the situation prevailing along the Line of Control, including ceasefire violations by Indian troops and Pakistan Army’s response to it.
Gen Bajwa also interacted with the troops on the occasion and appreciated their state of readiness and morale.
He praised the resilience of the civilian Kashmiri population being deliberately targeted by the Indian forces on both sides of the LoC.
It was Gen Bajwa’s second visit to the heavily militarised dividing line in AJK’s southernmost Bhimber district in less than a month, amid unrelenting ceasefire violations by the Indian army in a serious breach of November 2003 truce between the two countries.
The ceasefire violations have been frequently causing civilian casualties.
On Tuesday, two girls were injured in Haveli district in unprovoked firing by the Indian army, raising the number of injured persons to 153 and those of the dead to 27 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in the ongoing year alone.
In his last visit to Bhimber district on Oct 25, Gen Bajwa had made it clear that Pakistan Army’s belief in peace and stability should not be misconstrued, as troops were fully prepared and determined to defend the country.
Apart from that, he has also been giving an unequivocal message to India that Kashmir was the core issue and would have to be resolved between India and Pakistan in accordance with the United Nation resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people for a lasting peace in the region.
Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2018