COAS meets Afghan president, discusses regional security


RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa discussed regional security among other issues with President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday.

The army chief held a one-on-one meeting with President Ghani at the Presidential Palace followed by a delegation-level talk, according to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The Afghan president said Afghanistan and Pakistan are friendly countries and together both shall move towards enduring peace and stability, according to the ISPR.

During the meetings, both sides reviewed the prevailing security environment in the region and the bilateral relationship of the two countries.

“Issues related to long-term peace, cooperation against the shared threats, coordination between respective counter-terrorism campaigns to restrict space for non-state actors, intelligence sharing, trade and commerce, and people-to-people contacts were discussed,” the ISPR stated.

The army chief offered Pakistan’s complete support in achieving shared interests in the war against terrorism, including training and capacity building of the Afghan security forces.

Both sides also agreed on the framework for working towards a peaceful environment that is conducive to the political process essential for enduring Afghan peace and regional stability. There was also a consensus on regular and focused dialogue at multiple levels to evolve the bilateral process for minimising misunderstanding, managing crisis situations and enhancing cooperation in order to bring peace and stability in the region, the ISPR said further.

From the Afghan side, Afghanistan’s second vice president, dirst deputy chief executive officer, second deputy chief executive officer, national security adviser, intelligence chief, defence minister, interior minister, Kabul’s envoy to Islamabad and the army chief attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, Gen Bajwa was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, DG ISI Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, Pakistan’s envoy in Kabul and staff of the army chief.

Gen Bajwa was visiting the neighbouring country for a day-long visit on the invitation of President Ghani.

On his arrival, Gen Bajwa was received by Afghanistan’s army chief and presented a guard of honour.

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, trade and transit, and the war against terrorism, according to a tweet by the Official Account of the Office of the President of Afghanistan.

Bilateral issues

The two countries often trade accusations of fomenting militancy and terrorism within each other’s borders, as well as cross-border attacks.

Pakistan blames Afghanistan for hosting several terrorist groups that use its soil against Pakistan, and vice versa.

Last week, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Pakistan cannot take responsibility for peace and security in Afghanistan, adding that effective border management with Afghanistan is imperative to stop infiltration of terrorists.

Speaking at the Asia Society seminar in New York on Wednesday, the minister said the US cannot succeed in Afghanistan by waging war.

Asif said that no one desires peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan, but that a number of Afghan leaders want to continue status quo for their vested interests.

The minister blamed India for carrying out terrorist activities in Pakistan through Afghanistan, saying that more than 66 terrorist organisations are active inside India.

Around two weeks ago, at a tripartite forum, officials of the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan expressed their commitment to eliminate Daesh from the region.

At the meeting held in Kabul, they agreed on information sharing, complementary efforts and enhanced cooperation, according to the ISPR.

Moreover, on the sidelines of the tripartite meeting, the Pak-Afghan military delegations held a bilateral meeting and discussed cross-border attacks, counter-terrorism, coordinated actions on the respective sides along the border and exchange of detainees.








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