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Pak Army chief backs improvement in ties with India

21 Dec 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

In a surprising move, Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has urged his nation's civilian government to try improving ties with India.

He assured lawmakers that the Army would fully back any such diplomatic efforts.

His statement comes amid simmering India-Pakistan relations.

It also comes in the wake of the US' continued emphasis on Pakistan to mend relations with India.

In context: Pakistani Army backs closer ties with India

21 Dec 2017Pak Army chief backs improvement in ties with India

SignificantWhy Bajwa's statement is important?

"The military is ready to back political leadership's initiative for normalization of relations with India," Bajwa told lawmakers while appearing before a Parliamentary forum.

Bajwa's statement is especially significant given the Pakistani Army's longstanding opposition to the peace process with India.

He also said he wants Pakistan to normalize relations with all its neighbors.

Pakistan has shared difficult ties with neighbors Afghanistan and Iran.

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Bajwa accuses India of fomenting instability and terrorism in Pakistan

AccusationsBajwa accuses India of fomenting instability and terrorism in Pakistan

Bajwa said much of India's military deployments were meant to counter Pakistan.

He repeated Pakistan's longstanding accusation that India is promoting instability and terrorism in the country.

He also claimed that India has developed close ties with Afghanistan's intelligence agency National Directorate of Security.

Bajwa assured lawmakers that the Army is committed to democracy and rule of law in Pakistan.