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Indian doctrine "offensive" military strategy: Gen Kayani

Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. A file photo

ISLAMABAD (PTI): Pakistan and its army are India-centric because New Delhi has unresolved issues with Islamabad and there is a history of conflict between the two countries, Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said.

Kayani made the remarks during an interaction with a group of Pakistani journalists in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Wednesday.

He was quoted by Dawn News channel as saying that India's "Pakistan-specific military capabilities" too were a concern for his force.

He said the Indian Army's "cold start doctrine" as a "very offensive" military strategy and said it was an issue that needs to be addressed in terms of bilateral relations.

He also spoke of Pakistan's concerns over the training of Afghan troops by India.

In an apparent reference to the suspension of peace talks by India in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Kayani said peace in South Asia should not be held hostage by a single terrorist act or a non-state actor.

This was Kayani’s second interaction with the media this week.

The army chief has rarely briefed the media since he assumed the office in late 2007.

Kayani briefed the journalists about the presentation he made to NATO commanders during a high-level meeting in Brussels last month, including Pakistan's concerns about the handling of the situation in Afghanistan.

He also briefed them on the military operations currently underway against the Taliban in parts of the North West Frontier Province, including the Swat valley, and South Waziristan tribal region.

Unlike earlier campaigns in the tribal belt, the army is committed to completing the current operation, he said.

The army had planned to complete the operation in South Waziristan in 11 weeks but it had been done in five weeks, he said.

Pakistan had insisted that it did not want any kind of help from the US and NATO for this operation as it wanted ownership of the campaign, he added.

Asked about efforts initiated by Western countries for talks with the moderate Taliban, Kayani said dialogue would ultimately be needed to resolve the problem of militancy because the rebels were "our own people" and "Pakistani citizens".

The government will have to eventually negotiate but before that the military would conduct operations because the authorities have to approach the situation from a position of strength, Kayani said.

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