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US seeks Pakistan's help in tracing captive soldier

Updated February 19, 2014

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In January, the US obtained a “proof of life” video of Bergdahl, the first providing evidence he was still alive in more than three years. — File photo
In January, the US obtained a “proof of life” video of Bergdahl, the first providing evidence he was still alive in more than three years. — File photo
Issues related to Afghanistan and the region were discussed during the US Centcom's meetings in Islamabad.  — File Photo
Issues related to Afghanistan and the region were discussed during the US Centcom's meetings in Islamabad. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has assured the US military of every possible cooperation in tracing American soldier Bowe Bergdahl who is allegedly being held captive by the Afghan Taliban in the North Waziristan tribal region.

Highly credible sources told DawnNews that during meetings with Pakistan's top defence and military officials, General Lloyd J Austin, chief of the United States Central Command, sought Pakistan's help in tracing the kidnapped US soldier before any possible military operation was launched in North Waziristan.

The US commander also assured full military cooperation from the other side of the border to track down fleeing Taliban militants from Waziristan to Afghanistan.

General Austin during his meetings also shared credible information about various militants hideouts in North Waziristan with Pakistan's top military officials.

The sources further said that US was desperate to get its soldier back before it began the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.

A diplomatic source also said that Pakistan was playing a key role in resumption of suspended US-Taliban dialogue in order push forward a reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

General Lloyd J Austin held meetings with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Rashad Mahmood during which issues relating to Afghanistan and the region were discussed.

CJCSC Gen Mahmood briefed Gen Austin about Pakistan's viewpoint over the situation in Afghanistan during their meeting held at the Joint Staff Headquarters.

The US Centcom chief then visited the army's General Headquarters (GHQ) where he met with COAS Gen Sharif.

During the meeting, the two discussed matters relating to the Pak-Afghan border and the security situation in the region.