Not for the first time, and certainly not the last, the Foreign Office has had to condemn the remarks of India’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat. It is strange that the leader of one of the world’s largest armies is engaged in making foreign policy statements for the Modi government when there is an entire coterie of ministers and government leaders available to do so.

The leader of India’s armed forces should be reminded that military leaders have a responsibility to deescalate and look to avoid conflict but be prepared. The Indian military apparatus however, remains committed to consistently bringing up Pakistan and China’s name at every given opportunity, reflecting the singularly focused mindset of the Indian army; aggravating conflicts on the border. The alliance between Pakistan and China, although predicated on collaboration for mutual benefit, is seen as a deliberate attempt to thwart India. This self-obsessed perspective is getting India nowhere.

Contrast this behaviour to that of COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Chinese military high command, and it is evident that the two allies are more committed towards bringing development to the region instead of engaging in skirmishes along the border. For China and Pakistan, CPEC and other economic prosperity-related projects have been the focus for long.

The contrasting priorities indicate that China and Pakistan are committed towards looking ahead and cooperating, while borders and consistently asserting claims over foreign territory has been the driving force behind the Indian states decision making.

Our own COAS has never even directly called out India, and has only addressed those that might look to spoil the endeavours towards peace. This is how a responsible leader of the armed forces should carry themselves. Indian hawks could learn a thing or two from this approach, if they abandon the war-mongering ideology and look towards a peaceful future.