Hours after security forces recovered a US-Canadian couple and their three children who were captured from Afghanistan in 2012, a top US delegation appreciated and acknowledged Pakistan Army’s contributions and the country’s sacrifices in War on Terror.
A US delegation comprising senior director for South Asia Lisa Curtis, Ambassador Alice G Wells and Ambassador David Hale, among other representatives called on Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
The delegation briefed the army chief on contours of US strategy in South Asia, the communiqué said.
“Discussion focused on regional security situation including Afghanistan and how Pakistan has positively contributed towards peace and stability in the region,” the statement read.
The COAS, the ISPR added, highlighted Pakistan’s concerns regarding peace and stability in the region.
“He reiterated that Pakistan has done its best despite constraints and shall continue its efforts for the sake of the future of Pakistan and in line with aspirations of Pakistani people.”
Pak-US ties for Afghan peace stressed
Earlier, the visiting team also met Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad.
The US delegation emphasised the importance of reinvigorating the bilateral relationship with Pakistan in order to achieve common objectives of peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as in the region.
The two sides agreed to continue bilateral engagements at all levels, according to a statement.
Reiterating Pakistan’s stance for a politically negotiated settlement owned and led by Afghans, the foreign secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s constructive participation in all regional and bilateral mechanisms aimed at pursuing a peaceful solution to the Afghan conflict.
The US delegation was also informed on the recent visit by Pakistani officials to Kabul with a view to intensify engagement and addressing mutual concerns particularly border management and repatriation of refugees.
Highlighting Pakistan’s ongoing law enforcement and counter-terrorism campaign, Janjua apprised the US delegation of Pakistan’s efforts in eliminating terrorism from the Pakistani soil. Pakistan’s concerns on continued attacks from across the border were also shared.
The US delegation was informed about the atrocities and human rights violations being committed by the Indian forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) resulting in hundreds of casualties.
It was noted that persistent Indian refusal to engage with Pakistan despite repeated overtures for a comprehensive dialogue was adversely impacting regional stability.
The government has been under increased pressure from Washington to crack down on alleged militant sanctuaries inside its borders after US President Donald Trump lambasted the country in a televised address in August.
Pakistan, as part of the war on terror, has been battling militancy since years, with hundreds of soldiers and militants killed in the fighting.