In what can be termed as a surprise statement, Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that he backs normalisation of relations with India. Bajwa said Pakistan army was ready to back political leadership’s initiative for normalisation of relations with India. As per a report by Pakistani daily The Dawn, Bajwa said relations with all neighbours had to be normalised. He further urged political leaders to try to improve relations with India. Bajwa made his statements in a meeting with the parliamentarians. The Pakistan Army chief also assured MPs that their efforts would be fully supported by the army. Bajwa’s statement comes as a surprise as Pakistani military and ISI are prime Islamabad institutions that have been carrying out covert efforts to be destabilise peace in India, particularly in Kashmir. While speaking, Bajwa also said that a large part of Indian military deployments was mostly against Pakistan. Bajwa also accused Indian establishment of fomenting instability and terrorism in Pakistan.
In contrast, the same Bajwa had recently said that Pakistan will continue supporting separatist elements in Jammu and Kashmir. As per an Inter-Service Public Relations statement, Bajwa had said that Pakistan “will continue its support for the right to self-determination for ‘our Kashmiri brothers’” in Kashmir. According to the report, Bajwa spewed venom and lauded people of Kashmir, on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC), for showing “determination” against India. General Bajwa had made these remarks during his visit to Pakistan Army’s forward positions along the LoC in Muzaffarabad Sector. Bajwa’s comments come in backdrop of reports an increase in number of infiltration into Indian territory from the Pakistani side.
Bajwa is known for making unwarranted rants against India. Recently, he had said that Kashmir issue should be resolved through “political and diplomatic” means rather than “abusing” Pakistan. While addressing a Defence Day gathering in Rawalpindi, Bajwa accused India of “killing” innocent people along the LoC. “It is in interest of India that for a durable solution to the issues (in Kashmir), it should prefer political and diplomatic process instead of abusing Pakistan and using bullets against Kashmiris,” the Chief of Army Staff said.
His staments come at a time when lot is happening at international front. Recently, Bajwa had also asked United States to treat Pakistan with respect. His statement came after US repeatedly slammed Pakistan for promoting terror activities on its land. Bajwa told a US envoy that Pakistan is not seeking material or financial help from the US, but Washington must trust and treat it with respect. He made these remarks a day after US President Donald Trump asked Islamabad to stop providing safe havens to terrorists.
While announcing America’s new Afghanistan and South Asia policy – which calls for greater US troop deployment and Indian involvement in Afghanistan – Trump had hit out at Pakistan for offering sanctuaries to “agents of chaos.” “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations,” the US president had said. Responding to the invective, Gen. Bajwa said: “We are not looking for any material or financial assistance from the US, but trust, understanding and [an] acknowledgment of our contributions.”
From the Indian side, Army Chief Bipin Rawat had recently said Pakistan was spreading lies about the situation on the ground. “Pakistan generated social media propaganda is spreading disinformation among youth of Kashmir.” Sending a positive message of the situation getting better, Rawat had said, “Condition in Kashmir will improve soon.”