COAS, US CENTCOM discuss Afghanistan, Kashmir situation

ISLAMABAD    –   Commander US Central Command General Kenneth F. McKenzie junior called on Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ in Rawalpindi, Pakistan Army’s media wing said on Friday.

According to Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) Directorate, geo-strategic environment, regional security, Pak-US military cooperation including Afghanistan Peace Process and Kashmir situation were discussed in the meeting.

Neanwhile, Pakistan on Friday welcomed the announcement about commencement of much delayed intra Afghan dialogue in Doha capital city of Qatar on Saturday (today).

“Our combined efforts finally have brought forth the day that the Afghan people have been yearning for”, Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a statement. Imran Khan said the Afghans have suffered from continued conflict and bloodshed for more than 40 years.

He said Pakistan has endured the fall out reflected in incidence of terrorism, loss of precious lives and huge economic cost.

The Prime Minister said he has underlined for a long time that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that the only way forward is a negotiated political settlement.

He said Pakistan through its relentless efforts has played a pivotal role in facilitating the Afghan peace process to this juncture. He said we feel deeply gratified today as we have fulfilled our part of the responsibility.

The Prime Minister said it is now for the Afghan leaders to seize this historic opportunity work together constructively and secure an inclusive, broad based and comprehensive political settlement.

Imran Khan said successful culmination of an Afghan-led and Afghan owned peace and reconciliation process is indispensable for Afghanistan and for regional peace, stability and prosperity. 

The Prime Minister said Pakistan for its part will continue to remain in full support and solidarity with the Afghan people as they march forward in this consequential journey for peace and development.  

On Thursday, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Babar Iftikhar said that Pakistan earnestly believes that both countries deserve peace and progress. 

“Together we will defeat all spoilers of peace”, DG ISPR said in tweet while referring to the unfortunate rise in violent incidents on both sides of Pak-Afghan border over the past few months.

Pakistani security forces have recently foiled several incidents of violence in Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhewa and Chaman border town of Balochistan.

On July 30, at least two people were killed and 20 injured after shots were fired on protesters who stormed a quarantine centre at the border gate over not being allowed to enter the neighbouring country.

A woman was among those slain in the incident as protesters set ablaze the quarantine centre, set up along the Pak-Afghan Bab-e-Dosti gate, for Covid-19 patients.

A day after the incident occurred, Pakistan had said that the firing incident at its border with Afghanistan in Chaman, which resulted in casualties, was an act of self-defence to protect the local population.

After the incident the border crossing was closed but after negotiations, it was reopened last month.

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