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Time for India, Pakistan to bury the past, move forward: Pak Army chief 

Pakistan Army chief Gen Bajwa reportedly said India and Pakistan should “bury the past and move forward” towards cooperation.

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. (Photo: AFP file)

Pakistan’s army chief called on Thursday for arch rivals India and Pakistan to “bury the past” and move towards cooperation, an overture towards New Delhi that follows an unexpected joint ceasefire announcement last month between the two countries’ militaries.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa stressed however that the burden was on India to create a “conducive environment”, and said Washington had a role to play in ending regional conflicts.

Pakistan and India, both nuclear-armed countries, have fought three wars, and in 2019, tensions rose dramatically post the Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot aristrikes.

“We feel it is time to bury the past and move forward,” Gen Bajwa said in a speech at a conference in Islamabad meant to highlight the Pakistani government’s new security policies.

“But…our neighbour (India) will have to create a conducive environment, particularly in Kashmir,” he said.

Pakistan’s powerful army has ruled the country for nearly half of its 73-year existence, and the military has long controlled foreign and security policies.

Bajwa said the economic potential of South and Central Asia had “forever remained hostage” to the India-Pakistan disputes.

The militaries of both countries released a rare joint statement on February 25 announcing a ceasefire along the disputed border in Kashmir, having exchanged fire hundreds of times in recent months.

The United States immediately welcomed the move, and encouraged the two to “keep building on this progress”.

Gen Bajwa said Pakistan had “hope” in the form of President Joe Biden’s new administration, which he said could help facilitate peace in the region.

ALSO READ | What led to India-Pakistan ceasefire at LoC and will it hold for long?

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India Today

India Today is a weekly Indian English-language news magazine published by Living Media India Limited. It is the most widely circulated magazine in India, with a readership of close to 8 million. In 2014, India Today launched a new online opinion-orientated site called the DailyO.

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