The last time the Pakistani military leadership briefed a joint session of parliament was in May 2011 when former army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and former intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha came to speak on the killing of Osama bin Laden by US special forces in Abbottabad, a cantonment city 110 kilometres north of capital Islamabad.
On Tuesday's briefing, General Bajwa said the Pakistani military wants good ties with all neighbours, including India and Afghanistan, the BBC Urdu reported. "We can resolve issues with India through talks instead of war. In this situation if the government decides to hold talks with India, then the army would back the government," he said.
The military heads met with the civilian leaders for four hours, according to local media. However, senate chairman Raza Rabbani criticised lawmakers for allegedly leaking details of the in-camera briefing by the army chief, saying they violated the sanctity of the upper house, news agency PTI reported.
"If we keep up with the same attitude, no one will be able to take the House into confidence," he said, adding senators should know that in-camera sessions should not be made public.
Gen. Bajwa was accompanied by Director General of Military Operations Maj. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI Naveed Mukhtar and Director of ISI Public Relations Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor.
India has time and again accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists and using terrorism as a state policy. Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump unveiled a new National Security Strategy describing India as a "leading global power" and also asking Pakistan to take "decisive action" against terrorist groups operating from its soil.
Pakistan, however, also sees frequent attacks in Balochistan, a strategically important region bordering Iran as well as Afghanistan. The area is plagued by violence by Sunni sectarian groups linked to the Taliban, al Qaeda and the ISIS. It also has an indigenous ethnic Baloch group fighting against the central government.
The Middle East-based ISIS has created an active branch in Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent years mostly by recruiting among established terrorists, and its followers have claimed some of Pakistan's most deadly attacks in recent years, Reuters reported.
With inputs from PTI
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