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ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Saturday that Pakistan was determined to resolve the regional issues through partnership and cooperation.

The COAS delivered his opening remarks on the second day of the Islamabad Security Dialogue 2022 as chief guest.

General Bajwa said regional security and stability was the component of the country’s National Security Policy, adding, “Citizen’s security and prosperity is our priority”.

The COAS said: “Pakistan does not believe in camp politics and cannot promote its relationship with its partners at the cost of others.

“We want to expand our ties with China, US, and Russia without damaging its national interests where Ukraine, Japan, Gulf States and other partners are equally important for the country’s development and economic prosperity”, the COAS said.

While commenting on the Pak-Russia crisis, he said Pakistan had serious concerns over the Ukraine crisis.

The unfortunate Russian invasion destroyed half of Ukraine and killed many people, where both the countries should let the situation under their control to resolve the conflict, he added.

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He underlined that the expansion of the Ukraine crisis would not serve any country and Pakistan was demanding a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia.

The COAS mentioned that the world was facing challenges of poverty, climate change, cyber intrusion and others, whereas Pakistan was a country located at the crossroads of global economic and political transitions.

Commenting on the country’s landmark National Security Policy formulation, the COAS said the first-ever National Security Policy placed citizen security at its heart, where achieving this required peace at home and abroad.

“Our commitment to defeat terrorism remains unwavering. The country sacrificed 90,000 lives in its war against terrorism and the Armed forces with national support achieved unprecedented accomplishments”, General Bajwa said.

“Pakistan has rendered sacrifices of 90,000 innocent lives in the war on terror and will continue fighting terrorism till elimination of the last terrorist from its soil”, he said. The COAS also shed light on the worst humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and said: “We are working with the Afghan government and other neighbouring countries to prevent its soil use for terrorism against any other nation”.

He added that the lack of financial flows and global sanctions were aggravating the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

“The western countries in the emergence of Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis should not forget the 40 million people facing the worst humanitarian catastrophe”, he added.

Pakistan, he said was providing assistance to Afghanistan to avert the looming humanitarian crisis and the world must incentivize Afghans for their behavioral change.

“Pakistan already hosts four million registered and non-registered refugees and the world must stop Afghanistan from becoming the new epicenter of terrorism”, he added.

He urged the global community that the world must not disrupt its ties with Afghanistan and should not ignore Afghanistan amid the Ukraine crisis.

Commenting on the external security situation of the country, he said the situation along the line of control (LoC) remained peaceful and was satisfactory.

He further mentioned that the Indian cruise missile launched into Pakistan was a major concern as India did not make any communication prior to its launch.

“It has raised concerns over Indian ability to handle high-end weapons. Pakistan has called for a complete probe into the situation. India must hold an investigation of the failed supersonic cruise missile launch and ensure that its weapons are safe”, he demanded.

He said Pakistan had played the role of a responsible state among the comity of nations and released the Indian pilot captured after shooting down his aircraft intruding Pakistan airspace in 2019 while honoring the international laws and norms.

“Pakistan again played a responsible state’s role on the occasion of the failed supersonic projectile launch into Pakistan that jeopardized many civilian lives”, he said.

The COAS concluded that it was time for the political leadership of the region to come up beyond their biases and emotional prejudices to resolve the issues including the water crisis through dialogue.

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