Army chief sees better relations with Afghanistan

Published November 13, 2020
Afghanistan’s new ambassador to Pakistan Najibullah Alikhil called on Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa on Thursday. — Photo courtesy ISPR
Afghanistan’s new ambassador to Pakistan Najibullah Alikhil called on Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa on Thursday. — Photo courtesy ISPR

ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa on Thursday expressed hopes for better ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He was talking to Afghanistan’s new ambassador to Pakistan Najibullah Alikhil, who called on him at the General Headquarters.

Gen Bajwa and Amb Alikhil, during the meeting, discussed regional security situation, ongoing Afghan peace process, border management and defence and security cooperation.

Amb Alikhil, who was designated by Kabul as the new ambassador in Islam­abad in September, presented his credentials to President Arif Alvi on Nov 4.

Separate meetings held with new Afghan envoy, AJK premier

“The two noted the exceptional brotherly relations between both countries and pledged to further improve the same,” the Inter-Services Public Relations said.

The ISPR statement quoted Gen Bajwa as having expressed the hope that the new envoy would help “optimise Pak-Afg bilateral relations”.

The army chief also met Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan.

“Matters of mutual interest, particularly the situation on LOC & IIOJ&K were discussed,” ISPR said.

Gen Bajwa, during the meeting, reaffirmed Pakistan Army’s full support and commitment to Kashmir cause and the people of Kashmir.

Besides, Gen Bajwa and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke about Pakistan’s Covid-19 response and resumption of polio vaccination campaigns.

Mr Gates conveyed his appreciation for Pakistan Army for supporting the national polio drive and ensuring proper reach and coverage of polio campaigns this year, particularly through involvement of community leaders and influencers.

The COAS said: “We will call it a success when no child is affected in Pakistan. Credit goes to the grassroots workers including the mobile teams, law enforcement agencies and health representatives.”

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2020

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