COAS in US: Army praised for Zarb-i-Azb, fight against terror

18 Nov 2014

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General Lloyd Austin and General Raheel Sharif. — Courtesy: DG ISPR's Twitter page
General Lloyd Austin and General Raheel Sharif. — Courtesy: DG ISPR's Twitter page

WASHINGTON: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif called on US Central Command (Centcom) chief General Lloyd J. Austin, on Monday in Tampa, Florida, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Asim Bajwa said in a tweet on micro-blogging website Twitter.

During the meeting, General Austin praised the Pakistan Army for its commitment, professionalism and achievement in the fight against terror as well as the ongoing Zarb-i-Azb operation.

Bajwa further tweeted that the focus of discussions remained regional security and stability.

Military high-ups from both sides discussed a number of relevant issues.

“Gen. Sharif gave Pakistan’s perspective on regional security, improving Pak-Afghan military relations and Indian aggression along the Line of Control,” Gen. Bajwa mentioned in another tweet.

The Pakistani military delegation was received with a guard of honour at the headquarters of the US Central Command.

Also read: US hopeful of improving ties with Pak military

Meanwhile, the US State Department confirmed on Monday that General Raheel Sharif held “a series of high-level” meetings at the headquarters of the US Central Command.

General Sharif is visiting the United States on an invitation of the Chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey for talks aimed at rebuilding a long-term bilateral relationship between the two armies.

The Pakistani army chief “began his visit to the United States with a series of high-level meetings with US officials at Central Command headquarters in Florida,” Jeff Rathke, a State Department spokesman, told a news briefing in Washington.

“We have a broad relationship with Pakistan and chief of the army staff is a key figure,” he said.

Rathke said senior State Department officials would engage with Gen. Sharif when he returns to Washington.

“Already, he has been having productive and positive meetings, focusing on a range of issues from the situation in Waziristan to border security,” he said.

The United States considers this relationship “extremely important” in the fight against extremists, said the US official.