ISLAMABAD: Terming it a great tragedy, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday said that Russian invasion of Ukraine must be stopped “immediately”.
“We want to expand our ties with China, US, and Russia without damaging national interests where Ukraine, Japan, Gulf States and other partners are equally important for the country’s development and economic prosperity,” the COAS said while addressing the Islamabad Security Dialogue.
The unfortunate Russian invasion destroyed “half of Ukraine” and has killed many people, the COAS said, adding that the expansion of the Ukraine crisis would not serve any country and Pakistan was demanding a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia.
He reiterated that Pakistan does not believe in camp politics and seeks to expand and broaden its ties with both China and the United States.
“Pakistan does not believe in camp politics and our bilateral relations with our partners are not at the expense of our relationships with other countries,” said the army chief.
General Bajwa said the country enjoys close and strategic cooperation with China, which has been demonstrated by Islamabad’s commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
He said that Pakistan “equally shares a long history of excellent and strategic relationship with the US which remains our largest export market”.
The Chief of Army Staff said Pakistan continues to believe in using diplomacy and dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues with India including Kashmir dispute. He said Pakistan is ready to move forward on this front if India also agrees to do so.
He further said that Pakistan continues to believe in using diplomacy and dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues with India including the Kashmir dispute and added that the country is ready to move forward on this front if New Delhi also agrees to do so.
Expressing concern over the recent ‘misfire’ of a nuclear-capable Indian supersonic missile, the COAS said the incident raises serious questions about India’s ability to manage and operate high-end weapon systems.
“We expect India to provide evidence to assure Pakistan and the world that their weapons are safe and secure.”
“Unlike other incidents involving strategic weapons systems, this is the first time in history that a supersonic cruise missile from one nuclear-armed nation has landed in another,” he said.
“We hope the international community will realise that this incident could have resulted in a loss of life in Pakistan or an accidental shooting down of a passenger plane flying along the path of the cruise missile,” said the army chief and added that Pakistan had called for a thorough probe into the incident and that Islamabad had shown responsibility and maturity.
Referring to Afghanistan, General Bajwa said Pakistan continues to work closely with the international community to pursue peace and stability in Afghanistan.
He said it is our “collective responsibility” toward the Afghan people to ensure timely and adequate humanitarian aid flows into the country and warned that the consequences of the inability to address the humanitarian crisis will lead to a refugee crisis and will again make Afghanistan an epicentre of terrorism.
Bajwa also mentioned that the world was facing challenges of poverty, climate change, cyber intrusion and others, whereas Pakistan was a country located at the crossroads of global economic and political transitions.
Commenting on the country’s landmark National Security Policy formulation, the COAS said the first-ever National Security Policy placed citizen security at its heart, where achieving this required peace at home and abroad.
“Our commitment to defeat terrorism remains unwavering. The country sacrificed 90,000 lives in its war against terrorism and the Armed forces with national support achieved unprecedented accomplishments”, General Bajwa said.