LANDI KOTAL: In his first visit to Pakistan after the change in the army’s command, US Central Command (Centcom) chief hailed the country’s gains in the fight against terrorism and visited the Torkham border crossing.

Centcom Commander General Michael Erik Kurilla also met Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir during his visit to the GHQ on Thursday, APP reported.

He acknowledged Pakistan’s achievements in flood relief and contributions to regional peace.

General Kurilla also held a delegation-level meeting with the army’s top brass where matters of mutual interest, regional stability, security cooperation and military ties were discussed, according to APP.

Later, the Centcom commander visited the Torkham border crossing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with an eight-member delegation, sources said.

The delegation, which arrived at the border crossing via a helicopter, was received by Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Sardar Hassan Azhar Hayat.

The sources said Major General Noor Wali Khan, IG Frontier Corps, KP (North), briefed the delegation on the security and fencing of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The crossing was closed during the delegation’s visit and all activities were suspended leading to long queues of passengers and vehicles on both sides.

There are also concerns in the US over the resurgence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

“We remain committed to further degrading Al Qaeda, Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) and the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pak­­istan (TTP), and other terrorist groups that pose a threat to the US and our partners and allies,” the US State Department spokesperson told Dawn last week.

Last month, the TTP also ended its ceasefire agreement with the government of Pakistan and began attacking several targets inside the country.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2022

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