- Gen Raheel apprises US senators about challenges faced by Pakistan in ongoing war on terror
- Emphasizes on delivery of F-16s fighter jets to boost counter-terrorism operations in mountainous areas
- Olson says US supports Pakistan’s efforts for better border management of Afghan border
Pakistan on Saturday apprised a high-level American delegation about the challenges the country if facing in the ongoing war on terrorism and how ineffective border management with Afghanistan is multiplying its problems in this regard.
These concerns were conveyed by Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif to the US delegation led by Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Olson and US Senator John McCain on Saturday at the General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi. The other members of the US delegation included Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Donnelly.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief apprised the US senators about the challenges faced by Pakistan in the ongoing war on terror and how they get multiplied when met with ineffective border management with Afghanistan.
Senator McCain, while acknowledging Pakistan’s successes in Zarb-i-Azb, said Pakistan Army’s achievements in counter-terrorism operations are phenomenal and reflect the country’s determination to eliminate terrorism.
Stressing upon the need for better Pak-US relations, the senator said that Pakistan and United States need to cement relations in all dimensions and must strive for greater coordination for peace in the region and world at large.
The army chief also emphasized the importance of F-16 fighter aircraft for fighting terrorism in the mountainous terrain of the tribal areas. He urged the delegation to play their role for fulfilling the US commitment of delivering the fighter jets as per terms of the agreement settled by both countries.
Earlier, the army chief met Special Representative Richard Olson and discussed matters relating to regional security.
High-level consultation mechanism:
Olson also met Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and was briefed about creation of a high-level consultation mechanism between Pakistan and Afghanistan to address border management and other security issues.
The US ambassador appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan and stated that the US supported Pakistan’s efforts on border management.
Emphasising the early repatriation of Afghan refugees, the foreign secretary said Pakistan wanted the return of refugees to take place with dignity and honour.
The international community including the US and UNHCR should lend their due support to these efforts, he added.
On Afghan reconciliation, Aizaz Chaudhry reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) as an effective forum to facilitate Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.
US envoy lauds recent economic achievements:
Olson also called on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and lauded the minister for over on his recent economic achievements, including record tax revenue collection and the highest level of Forex reserves.
While discussing matters relating to the Afghan refugees, Olson said Pakistan’s contribution in hosting the Afghan refugees was acknowledged and commended by the international community.
He said safe, early and permanent repatriation of refugees to their homeland was a priority. He expressed support for efforts aimed at strengthening Pak-Afghan bilateral relations.
Ishaq Dar said it was imperative to agree on a detailed road-map for safe and honourable repatriation of Afghan refugees.