A day after an "outreach" by Pakistani PM Imran Khan, the country's powerful Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday said stable ties between Pakistan and India were the key to unlocking the full potential of south and central Asia and stressed that it was time for the countries to “bury the past and move forward”.
“Stable Indo-Pak relations are the key to unlocking the potential of south and central Asia by ensuring connectivity between east and west Asia. But this potential has always remained hostage to the disputes and issues between the two nuclear neighbours,” Gen Bajwa said at the National Security Dialogue in Islamabad.
“The Kashmir issue is at the heart of this. It is important to understand that without the resolution of the Kashmir dispute through peaceful means, the process of subcontinental rapprochement will always remain susceptible to derailment due to politically motivated bellicosity,” Gen Bajwa said. His comments came after India and Pakistan renewed a ceasefire on the LOC and international border on February 27 which has held so far.
“We feel it is time to bury the past and move forward. The onus for meaningful dialogue rests with India. Our neighbour will have to create a conducive environment, particularly in Kashmir,” he said.
India is moving cautiously because far too often, peace initiatives have been met with terror incidents, sending everything back to square one. Since this time it is the Army chief speaking of a peaceful resolution, it will be watched if he can deliver and keep jihadi outfits nurtured by the Pakistan Army and ISI under check.