Pakistan has shown “genuine desire” to have “normal and peaceful relations” with India, but “it takes two to tango”, the country’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Wednesday.

The situation in Pakistan’s neighbourhood continues to remain in a flux, Bajwa said, while speaking about matters including national security and Pakistan’s economy. “With a belligerent India on our east and an unstable Afghanistan on our west, the region remains captive due to historical baggage and negative competition,” he said. He was speaking at a seminar “Interplay of Economy and Security” in Karachi.

On the western border, Islamabad has made efforts to pacify the situation through diplomatic, military and economic measures, he said. “We have also expressed and demonstrated our genuine desire to have normal and peaceful relations with India, however, it takes two to tango,” he added.

Bajwa expressed concern over Pakistan’s “sky high” debts. “Our tax-to-GDP [Gross Domestic Product] ratio is abysmally low and this needs to change if we are to break the begging bowl,” he said, referring to the country’s foreign debts.

“In today’s world, security does not come cheap,” he said. “It is dependent upon economic prowess. It is here that our entrepreneurs must contribute by producing and exporting more.”