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Gen Bajwa hints at peace with India as he takes command of Pakistan’s army

world Updated: Nov 29, 2016 18:47 IST

Gen. Raheel Sharif (right) hands over charges as Pakistan’s chief of army staff to Lt. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi on Tuesday. (Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa/Twitter)

In his first remarks after assuming charge as the chief of Pakistan’s army, General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday said that the current tensions on the border with India will ease soon.

Speaking to the reporters on the sidelines of the ‘Change in Command’ ceremony at the army’s general headquarters in Rawalpindi, Gen. Bajwa said situation at the “Line of Control (LoC) will improve soon”.

The new army chief added that he had a heavy responsibility on his shoulders.

The comments came after the outgoing army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, warned India that “mistaking our policy of patience for weakness” would prove “dangerous”.

Read | New army chief Bajwa brings no immediate change in policy: Pakistan

Diplomatic ties between the countries have been frosty since an attack on an army base camp in Uri, Kashmir, left 19 soldiers dead. India blamed Pakistan for sheltering the militants who carried out the offensive. About 10 days later, New Delhi said it carried out a surgical strike across the LoC against militant launchpads. Since then, ceasefire violations have been occurring continually.

Eleven troopers of the army and the Border Security Force have been killed in Pakistani firing so far.

The outgoing chief formally handed over the command stick to Gen Bajwa. signifying the change-over which was attended by civil and military leaders as well as politicians and diplomats.

Gen. Bajwa also called on the media for their support, asking them to play a part in the keeping the morale of troops. He said he would be holding a meeting with representatives of the media soon.

Also read | Experience in Kashmir affairs was Gen Bajwa’s key to Pak Army’s top post