Pak wants peaceful relations with belligerent India: Bajwa

A meeting was held between US officials with Pakistani officials at Ministry of Foreign Affairs

A meeting was held between US officials with Pakistani officials at Ministry of Foreign Affairs

U.S. delegation comprising Lisa Curtis, Ambassador Alice G Wells, Ambassador David Hale and other representatives called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday.

While addressing a seminar on "Interplay of Economy and Security", in Karachi, Pakistan Military Chief Bajwa said that Pakistan was in a deep need of a comprehensive effort to pursue the National Action Plan and remove vulnerabilities well before they turn into threats for the nation. "We have also expressed and demonstrated our genuine desire to have normal and peaceful relations with India, however, it takes two to tango", Bajwa said. "With a belligerent India on our east and an unstable Afghanistan on our west, the region remains captive due to historical baggage and negative competition", the Army chief said. On October 2, a 10-year-old boy and a teenage girl were killed and seven other people were injured in firing by Pakistani troops near Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district.

He also said that Pakistan made a "deliberate and concerted effort to pacify" the country's border with Afghanistan through diplomatic, military and economic initiatives and has also tried to boost human security in the restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan and surrounding areas. Earlier, Pakistan troops had targeted Indian border outposts and villages, injuring three civilians. Hinting that India is not responding to its peace pleas, Bajwa said that "it takes two to tango".

General Bajwa also expressed concerns regarding Pakistan's economy, specifically its "sky high" debts, adding that to "break the begging bowl" the low "tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio" must increase. "Infrastructure and energy have improved considerably but the current account balance is not in our favour", he said.

According to figures released by the finance ministry, Pakistans foreign debt and liabilities are around Dollars 58 billion.