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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Army Chief in Washington: Bilateral Military Cooperation on Afghan Peace Process & Regional Security

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa visited Pentagon to interact with the top-level command of the US military and defence establishment. He later called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, followed by a meeting with US Senator Lindsey Graham. The US and Pakistan militaries have engaged in high-level bilateral security discussions on the Afghan peace process and regional security.

News Desk |

Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, on Wednesday, visited the Pentagon, and held a meeting with Chairman Joint Chief of Staff (CJCS) General Joseph F. Dunford, as part of the military-level engagements scheduled during the 3-day US visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Pakistani leadership.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) noted that Army Chief General Bajwa also met with Acting Secretary of Defence, Richard Spencer, and the Chief of Staff of the US Army, General Mark A. Milley. General Qamar Javed Bajwa was presented a guard of honour by the US army, accompanied by a 21 gun salute.

Bilateral Military Cooperation

Sharing the details of the interaction, Director General ISPR, Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted, “COAS interacted with US Military leadership at the Pentagon. Regional security situation and bilateral military cooperation discussed. US leadership acknowledged contributions of Pakistan Army in war against terrorism and role towards Afghan peace process.”

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The ISPR noted that during the high-level military discussions, Army Chief Gen Bajwa and Acting Defence Secretary Richard Spencer discussed the regional security situation, alongside the Afghan peace process.

The US Chairman Joint Chief of Staff (CJCS) General Joseph F. Dunford, and Acting Defence Secretary Spencer acknowledged Pakistan Army’s contributions in fighting the war against terrorism. ISPR stated, “Matters related to security and bilateral mil cooperation were discussed.”

During the visit, General Bajwa also paid a visit to the Arlington National Cemetery, to pay homage to the US national heroes, who laid their lives fighting for their country. A special ceremony was held at the Cemetery, and the national anthem of US and Pakistan were played.

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Earlier, the Chief of Staff of the US Army General Milley, had stressed that the Pentagon needs to establish strong military relations with Pakistan given the mutual goals of the two nations. This has given a greater significance to the meetings held between the US military establishment and the Pak Army Chief and his delegation.

Chief meets Mike Pompeo

Chief of Army Staff Gen Bajwa visited the US State Department to call on US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo for diplomatic defense engagement.

Sharing details from his official Twitter handle, DG ISPR noted, “The two discussed regional security issues especially focusing on Afghan peace process, noting the importance of an Afghan led and Afghan controlled solution.”

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The two leaders discussed avenues to elevate the progress of the Afghan reconciliation process, and the bilateral relations between the two nations. The Chief of Army Staff noted, “Pakistan attaches great importance to restoring a robust bilateral relationship based on mutual respect, trust & shared values.”

The Army Chief also held a meeting with Senator Lindsey Graham and General Jack Keane to discuss the regional security situation, the Afghan reconciliation process, and the Pak-US bilateral relationship. Senator Graham, recalling his visit to Pakistan earlier this year, and commended Pakistan for playing a detrimental role in improving the security situation across South Asia.

General Qamar Bajwa briefed Senator Graham and General Keane on the improvement of the security dynamics across Pakistan, and the opportunities it has created for foreign investors and businesses in Pakistan. The Army Chief stated, “Bilateral relationship holds potential for both countries and would also assist in regional stability.”

Prominent political and geo-strategic analyst, Jan Achakzai, observed that Gen Qamar Bajwa’s visit was a formidable success, and he was given an “unprecedented welcome” in the US.