Pakistan

RAWALPINDI – Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed that while results of the bilateral initiatives are extremely important but even more important is the continuity of the processes to achieve the state objectives.

The understanding was reached when the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Kabul on Tuesday and met the Afghan leadership.

During the visit, the COAS had an exclusive one on one meeting with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani followed by delegations level discussions. He also had meetings with the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and the Commander Resolute Support Mission (RSM) General John Nicholson.

The COAS congratulated the Afghan authorities on recent peace initiatives especially in respect of the Holy month of Ramazan/Eid, and wished that these steps gain more of permanence ultimately leading towards an enduring peace.

The discussions encompassed a wide range of issues especially the ongoing efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan, measures needed to check the rise of ISIS and the issue of terrorists taking benefit of the porous border to indulge in terrorism, smuggling and drug trafficking, being often networked together.

The COAS reiterated that it is the region and not countries that develop for which peace and development remain quintessential. He further said that having attained relative peace and stability inside Pakistan, efforts are now focused towards socio-economic development as a route towards enduring peace and stability.

The army chief said that recently signed Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Stability (APAPPS) is expected to bring more cooperation and coordination between the two countries.

Referring to border fencing, the COAS said that this is an obstacle for checking terrorism and not between people of both sides.

The Afghan president thanked the COAS for his visit and recent security initiatives undertaken for peace and stability. The president shared contours of his vision about regional development, efforts to extend ongoing temporary ceasefire and steps related to creating conditions for reconciliation.

The Chief Executive also thanked COAS for his visit and APAPPS initiative.

Talking to the Commander RSM COAS said that Pakistan desires that US/ NATO Forces must succeed and leave behind a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Earlier upon arrival at the presidential palace, the COAS was presented guard of honour.

The Foreign Secretary, the Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s Ambassador in Afghanistan and other senior officials accompanied the COAS while the Afghan National Security Advisor and senior ministers including National Directorate of Security (NDS) joined the Afghan delegation.

Pakistan Army chief leaves for Kabul to meet Afghan president