ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday said that the nation and its state institutions must continue to cohesively perform in best interest of the country so that no power could undo Pakistan.The army chief was quoting founder of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, while talking about challenges being faced by Pakistan during a visit to Strike Corps at Mangla.The COAS witnessed ongoing training and addressed officers and troops. While interacting with Mangla Corps troops, the COAS appreciated the state of high morale and standard of training. He said that despite our commitments on Western border and internal security duties, “we cannot remain oblivious to perpetual conventional threat” that demanded high standards of training and operational readiness.“We have come a long way in responding to the challenges and, God willing, Pakistan is bound to rise. The only thing needed is to stay steadfast and remain united as a nation” the COAS emphasised.Upon arrival at Mangla, the COAS was received by Mangla Corps Commander Lieutenant General Azhar Saleh Abbasi. Training and Evaluation Inspector General Lieutenant General Hidayat Ur Rehman was also present on the occasion.Meanwhile, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Zubair Mahmood Hayat on Tuesday said that enduring peace could be achieved in South Asia only through resolution of the Kashmir dispute.He was speaking at an international conference on the topic of “Regional Dynamics and Strategic Concerns in South Asia”, organised by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF).He said South Asian region was defined by the volatile nature of Pakistan-India relations. The resolution of Kashmir issue was important to reduce any chances of strategic miscalculations, he noted.Gen Zubair said that in Asia, future prospects of global peace and prosperity would be determined, adding that the United States and China had a central role to play in influencing the geo-strategic direction of the region.He said global powers had an interest in the region due to their grand designs, adding that the 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 that Afghanistan was important for regional connectivity and a gateway to Central Asia.“Instability in Afghanistan hampers 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 that conflict in Afghanistan affected Pakistan, which sought a just and enduring closure on the Afghanistan issue.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 said.He said that 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 10 years, he said.IPRI President 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 German Embassy Dr Jens Jokisch said that confrontation could be avoided through mutual engagement.Published in Daily Times, November 15th 2017.