DAVOS, SWITZERLAND: Former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif believes much has been accomplished during his tenure as military chief but said no one had a “magic wand” to resolve the country’s problems at once.
“No one in Pakistan has a magic wand that will resolve all its problems at once,” the former army chief said while speaking at a dinner hosted in his honour by Chairman Pathfinder Group, Ikram Seghal, on the sidelines of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
General (retd) Raheel said, during his tenure, military-to-military relations between Pakistan and the United States improved significantly and he was on good terms with heads of the US military. “During my time, the military-to-military relations were very good, if not excellent, and we respected each other,” said the former chief who retired from service in November last year.
He said his way of doing things was “open and frank.”
Regarding relations with Afghanistan, Gen (retd) Raheel said the intelligence agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan will have to play a key role to address mistrust between both the countries. He said during his three-year tenure as the head of the country’s military he made progress in relations with Afghanistan and hoped his successor General Qamar Bajwa would take things forward.
The former army chief’s comments suggest that both the nations still have to do a lot to improve strained relations.
“Pakistan wants peace with all its neighbours but with dignity and honour,” he reiterated.
General (retd) Raheel said Pakistan needs to have a fine balance in its relations with three global powers and that is what exactly it was doing. The country has good relations with resurging and existing global powers, he maintained.
“With positive and solid approach one can move forward and this is the approach which helped me in maintaining good relations with China, Afghanistan and Gulf countries,” the former army chief maintained.
During the first day of the four-day annual World Economic Forum meeting, General (retd) Raheel presented Pakistan’s case in an emphatic manner. His appearances at two formal sessions of the WEF also helped project a positive image of the country, as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not arrive at the venue to participate despite his presence in Switzerland. However, the premier held bilateral meetings.
General (retd) Raheel said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a game changer for Pakistan. “In the past two years the security situation has significantly improved and now it is time for overseas Pakistanis and foreign investors to invest in Pakistan.”
Raheel said he was a great supporter of democracy and his transition was an example of strengthening institutions. “The country is on the right path,” he said while advising the world to be patient with Pakistan.