COAS Bajwa, Afghan President Ghani hold talks in Kabul
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Jawed Bajwa, Monday visited Kabul, Afghanistan for a day-long official visit, said a statement issued by Inter Services Public Relation, the media wing of Pakistan military.
He held a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Chief of the Defence Staff UK General Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter was also present during the meeting.
Matters of mutual interest, current developments in the Afghan Peace Process, enhanced bilateral security & defence cooperation and the need for effective border management between the two brotherly countries were discussed.
COAS reiterated that a peaceful Afghanistan means a peaceful region in general and a peaceful Pakistan in particular. “We will always support "Afghan led-Afghan Owned" Peace Process based on the mutual consensus of all stakeholders,” he said.
Afghan President thanked COAS for a meaningful discussion and appreciated Pakistan's sincere & positive role in Afghan Peace Process.
Later, COAS also called on H.E. Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan and discussed matters related to Afghan Peace Process.
Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid, Director General Inter Services Intelligence, accompanied COAS during the visit.
Earlier, the news of COAS sudden visit to Kabul, Afghanistan came when Afghan media claimed the meeting between Bajwa and Ghani, citing sources.
London-based news agency Reuters also confirmed the presence of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Kabul where he was meeting Ghani as well as other Afghan leaders in Kabul at a time of heightened uncertainty for the region as violence rises while the United States withdraws troops,.
Pakistan is regarded as a key player in the Afghan peace process. In the past Islamabad has been falsely accused of harbouring the insurgent Taliban but in recent years Washington and other Western powers have acknowledged its efforts to push the militant group to take part in peace talks.
Bajwa on Monday also met Britain's Chief of Defence Staff General Nicholas Patrick Carter for talks on Afghan peacemaking, according to a statement from Pakistan's military media wing.
In recent weeks, Pakistan has been negotiating with insurgents to try and get them to commit to a ceasefire, agree to an extension of the U.S.-Taliban agreement which stipulated forces should withdraw by May, and continue to take part in peace talks at a planned conference in Turkey.
The Taliban announced on Sunday night that they would commit to a three-day ceasefire for the Islamic religious holiday of Eid later this week.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also asked government forces to match the ceasefire announced by the Taliban and hold their offensive against the insurgents.
Pakistan’ foreign office Monday also welcomed the announcement of ceasefire by the Taliban and has hoped that Taliban. “We fully support all efforts that lead to a reduction in violence and contribute to achieving durable stability and lasting peace in Afghanistan,” said the foreign office in its statement.