COAS stresses international support for peace in Afghanistan

The world community’s constructive engagement and sustained humanitarian support for Afghanistan is imperative for enduring peace and stability in the country, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said Friday.

The army chief’s comments came during the Corps Commander Conference, which he chaired at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

The meeting’s participants took a comprehensive review of the global, regional, and domestic security environment, the military’s media wing said in the statement.

The forum was apprised of the prevalent situation in Afghanistan, especially the security along Pak-Afghan Border and effective safeguards in place against various threats, the statement said.

During the meeting, the army chief expressed satisfaction over the efficacy of the comprehensive border management regime due to which Pakistan’s borders and internal security remained intact amid a crisis situation in the region.

The COAS appreciated the army’s support and role in the evacuation of foreigners and Afghan people from Afghanistan to other countries, the military’s media wing said.

The army chief appreciated the formations for their efforts for conducting Muharram-related events in a peaceful manner and instructed complete readiness to counter conventional and non-conventional threats.

“The designs of external and internal forces inimical to peace and stability in Pakistan shall be thwarted at all costs,” the army chief concluded.

Meanwhile, the forum emphasised close cooperation amongst all regional stakeholders is essential for a prosperous and peaceful region, the statement said.

The forum also paid homage to Syed Ali Shah Geelani for his lifelong struggle and sacrifices as leader of the indigenous freedom movement in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

A symbol of the Kashmiri freedom movement, and former chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Confe­rence (APHC), Ali Geelani had passed away last week in the Indian-occupied Kashmir city of Srinagar.

The forum also expressed solidarity with Kashmiri people who continue facing Indian state oppression and violence, the military’s media wing added.

The development came shortly after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had urged the international community to recognise the new reality in Afghanistan and engage with it for peace and stability in the region.

Speaking to the media in Islamabad along with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares, FM Qureshi had said that isolating Afghanistan will have serious consequences.

The top Pakistan diplomat said the approach of intimidation, pressure and coercion has not worked and we got to adopt a new positive approach regarding Afghanistan.

A day earlier, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Joseph Burns held a meeting with COAS Bajwa and discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan, a statement from the ISPR had said.

The ISPR had said that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed was also present during the meeting, which focused on the Afghanistan situation and regional security after the US withdrawal and the formation of the Taliban government in Kabul.

“It was reiterated that Pakistan remains committed to cooperating with its international partners for peace in the region and ensuring a stable and prosperous future for [the] Afghan people,” the ISPR said.

General Bajwa also met with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani on Thursday and discussed matters of mutual interest and the regional security situation, especially the current situation in Afghanistan, a statement from the military’s media wing said.

“His Excellency, Mr Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the state of Qatar called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS),” said the ISPR.

“During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional security situation especially the current situation in Afghanistan and cooperation in various fields were discussed,” it read.

The army chief reiterated the shared resolve of extending humanitarian assistance for Afghans. “Pakistan remains committed to working with its international partners for peace in the region and ensuring a stable and prosperous future for people of Afghanistan,” he said.

The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s role in successful evacuation operations from Afghanistan, efforts for regional stability and pledged to play their role for further improvement in diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan at all levels, stated the ISPR press release.


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