Crushing Economy: Pakistan’s military reached out to India for talks

"We want to move forward and we are trying our best to have good ties with all our neighbors, including India," information minister Fawad Chaudhry said. "As General Bajwa says, regions prosper, countries don't. India cannot prosper by weakening Pakistan."

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Islamabad, Sep 06 (Only Kashmir): The Pakistan military General Qamar Javed Bajwa has reportedly reached out to its archrival India about resuming peace talks following the corners about country’s international isolation and faltering economy, the Western diplomats and a senior Pakistani official recently disclosed.
According to the reports, Pakistan offered to resume on-and-off talks with India over their border dispute in the Kashmir region, which stalled in 2015 as violence flared up there. The process has been initiated quietly by the army’s top commander, General Qamar Javed Bajwa months before national elections.
A key objective for Pakistan in reaching out to India is considered to open barriers to trade between the countries, which would give Pakistan more access to regional markets. Any eventual peace talks over Kashmir are likely to involve an increase in bilateral trade as a confidence-building measure.
Increasingly, Pakistan’s military sees the country’s battered economy as a security threat, because it aggravates the insurgencies that plague the country. Pakistan is expected to ask the International Monetary Fund for $9 billion in the coming weeks, after receiving several billions of dollars in loans from China earlier this year to pay its bills.



“We want to move forward and we are trying our best to have good ties with all our neighbors, including India,” information minister Fawad Chaudhry said. “As General Bajwa says, regions prosper, countries don’t. India cannot prosper by weakening Pakistan.”
Bajwa linked Pakistan’s economy to the region’s security in a hallmark speech in October, and the idea that the two are inseparable has since become known as the Bajwa doctrine. The army chief is also seen as more moderate than his predecessors were on India, which has been Pakistan’s bitter rival since the bloody partition that came with independence in 1947.
The Pakistani general and his Indian counterpart, General Bipin Rawat, served together in a UN peacekeeping mission in Congo about a decade ago and get along well, diplomats say. Earlier this year, Bajwa said the only way to solve the two countries’ conflict was through dialogue, a rare statement from the military.
Diplomats say Bajwa has tried to reach out to Rawat to initiate talks. But the effort has been stymied by what one diplomat called a system mismatch.
The army is Pakistan’s most powerful institution, but India’s military is much weaker and could not agree to a peace deal without the civilian government’s approval. Diplomats in New Delhi say Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is preoccupied with elections expected early next year and does not want talks before then, fearing that if talks collapse — as they have many times before — it could cost them at the polls.
The new Pakistani government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan has been sending strong signals in favor of talks, though it is the military that ultimately controls foreign and defense policy. “If you take one step forward, we will take two steps forward,” Khan said in his victory speech, addressing India. “We need to move ahead.”
Inputs: Times of India