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Want Peaceful Relations With 'Belligerent' India: Pak Army Chief

KARACHI, Oct 11: Pakistan has shown "genuine desire" to have peaceful relations with its "belligerent" neighbour India but it takes "two to tango", Pakistan's Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said today.

At an event in Karachi to discuss security issues, General Bajwa said Pakistan needs to remove vulnerabilities well before they turn into threats. "With a belligerent India on our east and an unstable Afghanistan on our west, the region remains captive due to historical baggage and negative competition," the Army chief said.

"But on our part, we are making a deliberate and concerted effort to pacify the western border through a multitude of diplomatic, military and economic initiative..."

"We have also expressed and demonstrated our genuine desire to have normal and peaceful relations with India; however, it takes two to tango," General Bajwa said.

Despite what the Pakistani Army chief says, heavy shelling along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani forces happen frequently. On October 2, a 10-year-old boy and a teenage girl were killed and seven other people were injured in firing by Pakistani troops near Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district.

On September 21, after a two-day lull in cross-border firing and shelling, Pakistani troops targeted Indian border outposts and villages along the international border in Jammu and Samba districts, injuring three civilians.

On Pakistan's economy, General Bajwa expressed concerns over the country's "sky high" debts, saying the abysmally low tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio must change if the country has to "break the begging bowl".

"Growth has picked up but the debts are sky high. Infrastructure and energy have improved considerably but the current account balance is not in our favour," he said.

According to figures released by Pakistan's Finance Ministry, the country's foreign debt and liabilities are at $58 billion.

Ambassador Tien Reiterates Taiwan's Commitment To Strengthen Ties With India

By Deepak Arora


Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India (TECC) Ambassador Chung-Kwang Tien reiterated the Republic of China (ROC) Government’s commitment to strengthen Taiwan’s relationship with India under the New Southbound Policy.

Under the leadership of President Tsai Ing-wen who took office in May 2016, Ambassador Tien said Taiwan has developed five flagship projects- from industrial supply chains to youth exchange platforms to regional agri-cooperation.

He said Tawan was also developing three potential-laden fields, namely e-commerce, infrastructure and tourism, for enhanced collaboration with India.

India is the world’s largest democracy and Taiwan is the first democracy in the Chinese speaking area.

Apart from democracy, Taiwan and India also share the universal values in peace, freedom and human right, and therefore should work hand in hand to promote regional peace and stability, tackle transnational crimes, take actions against the climate change and achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) together, said Ambassador Tien.

The Republic of China (ROC) (Taiwan) National Day celebration was organized with a special guest, Mr. Chen Wen-Tung from Taiwan’s National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, as the executive chef in charge of the Taiwan cuisine. Six classic dishes from Taiwan and the famous Taiwan Beer were served for the guests.

The celebration followed with an 11-minute long video named Dynamic Taiwan, Embracing the World to feature the government’s steadfast diplomacy and the society’s energy, diversity and inclusiveness in Taiwan. A tourism-promotion video was displayed, as well as the photo collection made by TECC to showcase relevant activities of Taiwan-India relation in the past year.

A special program of Prize Drawing was held at the end of the celebration. Lucky guests won the prizes including a portable photo printer, pocket-size projector, Acer latptop-cum-tablet, and China Airlines (Taiwan) business class flight tickets from Delhi to Taipei.

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