In a significant shift of tone, Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa seems to have softened his approach towards India, as he has called for resolution of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir "in a dignified and peaceful manner".
Amid strained ties with New Delhi, General Bajwa on Tuesday said that Pakistan is "a peace-loving country that has rendered great sacrifices for regional and global peace".
During a graduation ceremony at a Pakistan Air Force Academy, General Bajwa stated that Islamabad is "firmly committed to the ideal of mutual respect and peaceful co-existence" and that "it is time to extend peace in all directions".
"We stand firmly committed to the ideal of mutual respect and peaceful co-existence. It is time to extend the hand of peace in all directions. Pakistan and India must also resolve the longstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir in a dignified and peaceful manner".
According to a statement by Pakistan's Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Bajwa said Pakistan will not allow anybody or any entity to misinterpret its "desire for peace as a sign of weakness". He said Pakistan armed forces are fully capable to thwart any threat.
Pakistan Army chief was the chief guest at the event while Pakistan Air Force chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan was also present at the ceremony. Gen Bajwa lauded the role played by Pakistan Air Force in "war on terror".
The Pakistan Army Chief's remarks concerning India are being seen as a signal of a change in outlook and a desire for improvement in bilateral ties. India has repeatedly said that talks and terror cannot go together and Pakistan should take demonstrable steps against terror groups operating from its soil responsible for terror attacks against India.