Pakistan’s new army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa said on Friday there can be lasting peace in the region only if the “core issue of Kashmir” is resolved in line with UN resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Bajwa made the remarks after visiting troops at forward locations on the Line of Control (LoC) and the headquarters of the Rawalpindi-based X Corps, which is responsible for operations along the ceasefire line.
Bajwa’s first public comments on the Kashmir issue were largely in line with the Pakistan Army’s traditional posture. Bajwa, who has considerable experience of serving on the LoC, had said soon after taking over that the situation along the ceasefire line would soon be “alright”.
“(The) core issue of Kashmir will have to be resolved between the two countries in the line with UN resolutions and aspirations of the people of Kashmir, for lasting peace in the region,” he was quoted as saying by the military’s media arm.
Referring to the “befitting response” by Pakistani troops to “unprovoked Indian firing in violation of ceasefire agreement”, Bajwa directed the soldiers to remain at the highest level of vigil at all times.
“Each violation of any kind must be responded with full force in the most effective manner,” he said. India’s “aggressive posture”, he alleged, was aimed at diverting the world community’s attention from “atrocities being committed by their troops” in Kashmir.
Bajwa was briefed by officials about the security situation on the LoC and the escalation in tensions.
Tensions have spiked between India and Pakistan after a string of terror attacks on Indian military facilities, including the Pathankot airbase and army camps at Uri and Nagrota, and the ceasefire on the LoC has come under severe strain because of fierce exchanges of fire.