ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa on Saturday recalled Pakistan’s strategic ties with the US and said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could not be condoned.

Speaking at Islamabad Security Dialogue, the army chief said: “We have an excellent strategic relationship with US, which remains our largest export market.” He also expressed the desire for broadening that relationship.

Gen Bajwa’s remarks came in the backdrop of the PM’s allegations that the US was conspiring to dislodge his government.

The PM’s allegations are based on a cable received from Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington in which he had stated that Assistant Secretary Donald Lu had conveyed Biden administration’s annoyance over Mr Khan’s foreign policy and his visit to Moscow. The ambassador had been further warned that Mr Khan’s continuation in office could have repercussions for the bilateral relationship.

Calls US ‘largest export partner’; says Pakistan enjoys excellent strategic relationship with DC

The army chief’s remarks at the Security Dialogue, a day before the voting in the National Assembly on the opposition’s no-confidence motion against the beleaguered premier were, therefore, seen as a signal to Washington that he wanted to overcome the rift.

Defence ties between the US and Pakistan have long remained the bedrock of their relationship.

Gen Bajwa made it clear that Pakistan’s bilateral relations with its ‘partners’ were not at the expense of its relations with other countries. He added Russian aggression against Ukraine could not be condoned.

He maintained that despite Russia’s security concerns, its invasion of a country smaller than itself could not be supported.

Gen Bajwa also reminded about strong defence and economic cooperation with Ukraine since its independence. He briefly touched on ties with China and said Pakistan had a close strategic partnership with Beijing as demonstrated by its commitment towards CPEC.

About the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, he said its performance was not satisfactory, to say the least, but the world would have to be “patient and accommodative”.

On ties with India, the army chief said Pakistan believes in dialogue and diplomacy to resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir dispute. Pakistan, he said, was ready to move on this front if India also agreed to do so.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Taking stock
14 Aug, 2022

Taking stock

AS Pakistan completes three quarters of a century as a sovereign nation today, it will be worth the effort to see...
Medicine in short supply
14 Aug, 2022

Medicine in short supply

THAT rising import prices of pharmaceutical raw materials and increasing production costs of manufacturers have...
Police excesses
Updated 13 Aug, 2022

Police excesses

Crass thuggery and victimisation of ordinary citizens are unlikely to earn govt plaudits from any quarter.
Afghan cleric’s killing
13 Aug, 2022

Afghan cleric’s killing

THAT a suicide bomber belonging to the self-styled Islamic State group managed to target a senior Taliban cleric in...
No room for hockey
13 Aug, 2022

No room for hockey

THERE have been accusations and clarifications as the blame game rumbles on. Yet despite workers of the PTI ...
Militancy redux
Updated 12 Aug, 2022

Militancy redux

There is fear and confusion all around, and it is for the state to bring clarity to the situation.