Pakistan’s COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa thinks that the way to peace and prosperity in his country is through military cooperation with India. The two countries along with China will take part in joint military drills in Russia, in September this year.
In an attempt towards friendlier relations with India, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other senior Pakistani officers think that the way to peace and prosperity between both the countries is through military cooperation with India, said a report by UK based think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
“These initiatives come against a background of almost weekly exchanges of fire along the Line of Control in Kashmir,” said the report that was prepared by RUSI’s South Asia and Middle East expert, Kamal Alam. In March this year General Bajwa had invited Sanjay Vishwasrao, the Indian military attache and his team to the Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad. The two countries along with China will take part in joint military drills in Russia during September. The military exercise will take place under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a China-dominated security grouping that is increasingly seen as a counterweight to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), said the officials.
Bajwa while talking to RUSI last year had said that the Pakistan army is now no more insecure and feels confident of its future and that he welcomes Indian participation in Pakistan’s flagship infrastructure project, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
According to the reports, senior Pakistani officer Lieutenant General Aamir Riaz headed the first high-level contact group with India as Director-General Military Operations. General Riaz thinks that Pakistan sees the CPEC project as key to its economic future and he has made public his stance of welcoming Indian participation in this – Pakistan’s largest infrastructure effort.
Major General Ahmed Hayat, the Director General of the analysis wing of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), authorised the “India Plan” in 2013, which tried to ascertain how and when Pakistan should approach India. He said that Pakistani military would approach India after Islamabad strengthened its defence diplomacy without pressure or threats from Washington. “It is a no-brainer that one cannot live in an environment of perpetual enmity with a neighbour six times your size, but the indicators have to be right,” said General Hayat.
According to the reports India has rejected Pakistan’s offer of a transit trade dialogue on Afghan-Indian commerce. It is not the first time talks of peace have been initiated in both the countries. In 2002 Pakistani military leader General Pervez Musharraf and then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee came together for a summit in Agra to resolve the Kashmir conflict despite a year long tense situation at the border.
The relation between India and Pakistan worsened after 26/11 Mumbai attacks, when no action was taken against Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the attacks who was roaming freely in Pakistan. In November last year he was released from house arrest, which flamed the tensions even more. Despite the tensions between both the countries, the Pakistani army is positive that talking to India will help the country’s upward economic trajectory and allow regional trade to flourish.