ISLAMABAD -  Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Zubair Mahmood Hayat on Tuesday stated that enduring peace could be achieved in South Asia only through resolution of Kashmir dispute.

Speaking at an international conference on the topic of “Regional Dynamics and Strategic Concerns in South Asia” he said South Asian region was defined by the volatile nature of Pakistan-India relations.

The conference was organised by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF).

The CJCSC noted that the resolution of Kashmir issue was important to reduce any chances of strategic miscalculations, he noted.

Talking about India, Gen Zubair said India was committing atrocities in Occupied Kashmir and had a belligerent attitude towards Pakistan. India continued to suppress Kashmir’s indigenous freedom movement through use of brute force, human rights violations, rape and torture, he added.

The general said 7,700 Kashmiris had partially lost their eyesight because of use of pellet guns.

Only in the year 2017, India committed 1,200 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC), the highest in the last ten years, he said.

He said the future prospects of global peace and prosperity would be determined in Asia, adding the United States and China had a central role to play in influencing geo-strategic direction of the region.

Gen Zubair said global powers had an interest in the region due to their grand designs, adding South Asian region had the lowest rank on the human development index.

He pointed that collective narratives were being used to influence state behaviour. He said Afghanistan was important for regional connectivity and a gateway to Central Asia. Instability in Afghanistan hampered the path to regional economic integration, he stated.

He said the reasons for instability in Afghanistan were violence, ethnic divisions, weak governance, warlordism and drug trafficking.

Pakistan will remain friendly to Afghanistan, he said, adding conflict in Afghanistan affected Pakistan, which sought a just and enduring closure on Afghanistan issue.

President IPRI ambassador Abdul Basit said the primary objective of Pakistan’s foreign policy was to have peace in the region and beyond.

“We cannot fully undertake our economic agenda without peace in the region.”

He said Pakistan and Afghanistan should stop mutual recriminations and serious efforts should be made for moving forward the process of reconciliation.

Abdul Basit said Pakistan wanted to have normal relations with its neighbours.

“We want to hold dialogue with India on all outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir.”

As a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan was not interested in an arms race in the region, he stated.

In his remarks, Charge d’Affaires of Germany Embassy Dr Jens Jokisch said confrontation could be avoided through mutual engagement.

He said tensions could be resolved through constant dialogue, adding South Asian region needed confidence building measures and “we have to create a win win situation for all.”

INP adds: The path to better relations with India passes through Kashmir, there is no bypass, Gen Zubair said and added “Kashmir is a nuclear flash point and needs lasting resolution for peace in South Asia .”

He added that India was perpetrating terrorism in Pakistan through Taliban, Baloch separatists and RAW. By doing so, India was playing with fire and the peace of South Asia , the general said.

He also shared with the participants that the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, had allocated $500 million to carry out sabotage activities against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said the conspiracies made by India against CPEC are being defeated. He said India is also fanning terrorism in Balochistan.

The CJCSC said political and strategic differences have been causing conflict in South Asia , and India was fostering the issue. He added India was doing so by, for instance, making claims such as those of the 'surgical strike'.

The general said India had violated the ceasefire for more than 1,200 times, thereby, continuing its years-old war against Pakistan. He said India so far martyred 1,000 Pakistani citizens and 300 soldiers.

"These moves of India can result in a major war at any time," General Zubair said.