In the rarest gesture, the Pakistan army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa urged the country’s lawmakers to develop relations with India, affirming them that their efforts would be backed by the Army. Bajwa words came following backdrop of continued American stress to Pakistani leadership on mending ties with India. At the Senate committee of the whole House during his first appearance before a Parliamentarian forum on Tuesday, Bajwa told lawmakers that “The military is ready to back political leadership’s initiative for normalization of relations with India”.
The general was invited by Senate chairman Raza Rabbani and also attended by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Naveed Mukhtar. Top military officers such as Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza and Major General Asim Munir were also present. The session went on for almost four-and-a-half hours. Citing senators, the prominent Pakistan daily Dawn said Gen Bajwa said to the legislatures that he wants to normalize relations with all neighbors and urged politicians to try to improve relations with India. He also ensured that their efforts would be purely supported by the army.
The army chief’s offer was mainly important because a common perception has been made that the army was against peace efforts with India. Gen Bajwa, on the other hand, also added that a large part of Indian military deployments was mainly against Pakistan. Bajwa alleged India of provoking instability and terrorism in Pakistan, saying that New Delhi had developed a powerful nexus with Afghan intelligence agency National Directorate of Security.