PM, COAS discuss security situation


–COAS, Japanese security advisor discuss overall regional situation

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa discussed Afghanistan peace process and overall security situation of the country in a meeting at PM House on Wednesday.

According to an official statement, the top civil and military leaders also discussed professional matters related to armed forces, ongoing anti-terrorism operations and internal and external security of the country among other matters of mutual interest during the meeting.

The meeting follows US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad’s meeting with the prime minister over the Afghanistan issue which was held earlier in the day. During the meeting, PM Khan reiterated that Pakistan wanted a political solution to Afghan peace and reconciliation and assured the visiting diplomat of Pakistan’s complete support to the US and Afghanistan in bringing peace to the war-torn country. Khalilzad conveyed US President Donald Trump’s best wishes to the prime minister.

“The US leadership is looking for a peaceful solution to the Afghan peace process and mutual cooperation between the two sides,” Khalilzad told the premier to which he was told that Pakistan is also making efforts for a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

US envoy’s visit came a day after Trump wrote a letter to PM Khan, seeking Islamabad’s “assistance and facilitation in achieving a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war”. In his first letter to PM Khan, Trump sought “Pakistan’s full support” for the US-led peace process in Afghanistan and for his special envoy’s trip to the region.

Khalilzad will also travel to Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar in a stepped-up effort to find a peaceful end to the Afghan war. “He will meet with Afghan government officials and other interested parties to support and facilitate an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan, empowering the Afghan people to decide their nation’s fate,” read a press release by the US Department of State.

On Tuesday, Pakistan had assured the United States of its complete support in facilitating a negotiated settlement in war-torn Afghanistan. The assurance was given during a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Khalilzad who arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday to hold meetings with Pakistan’s political and military leadership about bringing the Afghan Taliban to peace talks. Qureshi assured the US side of Pakistan’s steadfast support for a negotiated settlement in war-torn Afghanistan, the Foreign Office (FO) said.

Earlier, USS Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had also confirmed Trump’s attempt to reach out to Pakistan to end the war in Afghanistan, stressing that the US looked for every responsible nation to support peace in “the subcontinent and across the war” in Afghanistan.


National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan Kentaro Sonoura on Wednesday called on COAS Bajwa at the GHQ.

During the meeting matters of mutual interest, including bilateral security cooperation and overall regional situation were discussed, an ISPR press release said.

The worthy guest fully supported efforts for peace in Afghanistan through political reconciliation.