Pakistan Chief of Army Staff, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said that it is in India’s favour that they prioritise political and diplomatic solutions for sustainable resolution of the Kashmir issue instead of insulting Pakistan and using force against Kashmiris.
“Pakistan is a peace-loving country, and Pakistanis have, despite 40 continuous years of discord, retained their identity and unity. Larger countries with more resources than us have broken,” he said.
Speaking at a function organised to pay tribute to the martyrs of the 1965 war on Pakistan’s 52nd Defence Day at General Headquarters on Wednesday, he said “India should realise that the peaceful struggle of hundreds of thousands of youth in Kashmir does not need interference from Pakistan or Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It is in India’s favour that they prioritise political and diplomatic solutions for sustainable resolution of the Kashmir issue instead of insulting Pakistan and using force against Kashmiris.”
“Pakistan is a responsible nation. We did not bring nuclear weapons to South Asia. And even now these weapons are simply a guarantee of peace in answer to a neighbouring country which is high on power. It is this country which has brought unconventional war to the South Asian region,” he said.
“Since 1971 Pakistan has remained a victim of terrorism. We have paid the price for the wars started by super powers in the form of terrorism, extremism and economic loss. We are abiding by our policy that we will not allow our soil to be used against any country, and expect the same of other countries.”
“For our complete success in the war against terrorism, we need the nation’s passion and cooperation,” he told the audience.
“Although the army can end terrorism, to gain control over terrorism and extremism it is necessary that every citizen is a soldier of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad,” he maintained.
He reminded the audience that the war against terrorism is also an ideological war.
“We are proud of both the green and the white of our flag. Our beliefs, our faith and our traditions don’t need a stamp of approval from anyone. National unity is the need of the hour, and we will not tolerate anyone shaking our foundations on the basis of religious, sectarian or caste differences.”
The army chief also paid tribute to Pakistan’s martyrs and their families, and vowed to take the war against terrorism to its logical conclusion.
He also called on the world to “do more” against terrorism.
“Despite all our efforts, our countless sacrifice and over decades of war, we are being told that we have not done enough against terrorism,” the army chief said, referring to recent criticism by United States (US) President Donald Trump over Pakistan’s alleged inaction against terrorist ‘safe havens’.
“If Pakistan has not done enough in this war, then no country in the world has done anything,” he asserted.
“Only Pakistan has seen this level of success with such limited resources. From Operation Sher Dil, to Rah-i-Rast, Rah-i-Nijat, Zarb-i-Azab and now Radd-ul-Fasaad, we have paid for each inch [of gains] with our blood.”