At a conference, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa dispelled any notion that Pakistan’s ruling class was complicit in the torture of reporters or in curtailing their right to the press.
The Pakistani ambassador’s home hosted a special event on Wednesday, the last day of the army chief’s nearly seven-day tour to the US, where he addressed members of the Washington-area think tank community.
In response to a query during the occasion, the army commander insisted that Pakistan has unrestricted press freedom and that the nation’s “establishment was not involved” in any unfortunate episode that occurred in this regard.
Gen Bajwa impressed his American audience with his “quite frank” remarks, according to one of the attendees who asked to remain anonymous since they had to follow the Chatham House guidelines.
Without revealing the subjects that were addressed at the meeting, another participant remarked, “Everything was discussed.” The participant said, “The army leader said a great many things that astonished us greatly, in a good way.”
A different participant asserted that the army leader “expressed his mind” and wasn’t “putting on a front” to appease the crowd.The army chief discussed bilateral relations between the US and Pakistan, stressing that the two “strategic allies” should strengthen their trade and economic ties, according to other sources familiar with the event who spoke to the journal.
Gen. Bajwa was happy that Pakistan’s connections with other nations stood on their own without being hyphenated with any other nation. He declared that Pakistan desired positive, autonomous relations with all nations, including China and the US.
The army general stressed that Pakistan always wanted a quick resolution to the Kashmir dispute so that both nations could have better neighbourly relations when it came up during the session.