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No safe havens inside Pakistan to be used against Afghanistan: COAS

RAWALPINDI: Commander US CENTCOM, General Joseph L Votel called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ on Monday.

According to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), matters of mutual professional interest with special focus on security situation in Afghanistan were discussed.

During the meeting, COAS in reference to recent terrorist incidents in Afghanistan and follow up rhetoric from certain factions implicating Pakistan said the blame game is detrimental to enduring peace and stability. COAS Gen Bajwa highlighted that Pakistan has undertaken operations against terrorists of all hue and colour and there are no safe havens inside Pakistan to be used against Afghanistan. He expressed his commitment to work in close coordination with Afghanistan and US led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) for improved security of Pak-Afghan border region. The COAS emphasised the requirement of Pak-Afghan border security and intelligence sharing mechanisms.

COAS highlighted the importance Pakistan accords to its relations with US, particularly cooperation in counter-terrorism and regional stability. Army chief General Bajwa said Pakistan supports and looks forward to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process.

Commander US CENTCOM acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan Army successes in the fight against terrorism and continued efforts to bring peace and stability in the region. General Votel stressed the need for continued and meaningful engagement between all stakeholders involved in peace and stability of Afghanistan. The visiting dignitary supported the views of COAS on inclusive reconciliation in Afghanistan through an Afghan owned and Afghan led process.

Commander Centcom General Votel also called on Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and discussed matters of mutual interest with emphasis on geo-strategic environment.

General Votel acknowledged the role played by Pakistan Armed Forces in fighting the menace of terrorism.

Upon arrival, a guard of honour was presented to General Votel who also laid a floral wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada.

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