Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday said that “comprehensive and meaningful” dialogue with India remains the inevitable route to restoring peace in the region but stressed that any bilateral talks with the neighbours can only be held “on the basis of sovereign equality, dignity and honour”.
A report published in Dawn said that speaking at the passing out parade of the 137th PMA Long Course, 8th Mujahid Course and 56th Integrated Course, the army chief once again offered his support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, where a surge in violence has seen more than 100 people killed just this year.
“I take this opportunity to express our complete political and moral support to the basic right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he was quoted as saying by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
“Those peace-loving innocent citizens of Jammu and Kashmir are being subjected to one of the worst forms of ‘state terrorism’. It is high time for the world community to wake up and play a positive role in bringing peace to that unfortunate part of the sub-continent,” the report mentioned.
The army chief reiterated that lasting peace in the region can be achieved only through dialogue, saying: “It is our sincere belief that the route to peaceful resolution of Pak-India disputes — including the core issue of Kashmir — runs through comprehensive and meaningful dialogue.
“While such dialogue is no favour to any party, it remains the inevitable precursor to peace across the region. Pakistan remains committed to such a dialogue, but only on the basis of sovereign equality, dignity and honour.”
Gen Bajwa said that even though Pakistan seeks harmonious and peaceful co-existence with all countries, “this desire for peace must not, in any sense, be construed as a sign of weakness,” Dawn reported.