RAWALPINDI – Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and US Secretary of Defence General Lloyd J. Austin (Retired) discussed the regional security situation and planned withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
According to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), both security high ups had a telephone conversation, today (Thursday).
During the call, matters of mutual interest, regional security situation including latest developments in Afghan Peace Process, draw down and bilateral cooperation in various fields were discussed.
“COAS said that Pakistan will always support “Afghan led-Afghan Owned” Peace Process based on mutual consensus of all stakeholders. He also reiterated that peace in Afghanistan means peace in Pakistan,” read the ISPR statement.
The US dignitary also acknowledged Pakistan’s continuous efforts for peace and stability in the region and pledged to further enhance bilateral relations between both the countries.
A statement issued by the Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that “Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss regional stability and security”.
During the call, Secretary Austin reaffirmed the importance of the U.S. – Pakistan bilateral relationship and expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s support for Afghanistan Peace Negotiations.
Secretary Austin and General Bajwa also discussed the drawdown in Afghanistan.
Secretary Austin and General Bajwa discussed the importance of regional stability and the desire for the United States and Pakistan to continue working together on shared goals and objectives in the region.
The contacts between the Pakistan Army chief and US officials expedited after US President Joe Biden announced that American combat troops from Afghanistan will be withdrawn by Sept. 11, declaring an end to the country’s longest war.
Biden took the decision despite Pentagon’s suggestion to remain in Afghanistan until the local forces can assert themselves against the Taliban.