ISLAMABAD, April 22: US Army Chief of Staff Gen Martin Dempsey on Friday met Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as Pakistan and US militaries continued their engagement for resolving differences that have not only hurt military-to-military ties, but also bogged down the overall strategic relationship. Gen Dempsey visited Islamabad a day after a visit by Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen.
After his intense discussions with Gen Kayani, Admiral Mullen said ‘challenges in ties’ persisted and “still, not all is brightness and light”.
Gen Dempsey, who earlier this month took over the responsibility of the Chief of Staff from Gen Casey is not a new face for the Pakistani military command.
He had visited Pakistan in his earlier capacity as acting Centcom commander and also received Pakistani military officials in the US.
While Admiral Mullen discussed the broader strategic challenges like alleged ISI links with the Haqqani network, military sources say, Gen Dempsey was more focused on operational matters relating to fight against militancy.
The discussions revolved around improving coordination of operations; border issues, including border posts and troops deployment along the border; aerial violations; cross-border movements of insurgents; improvised explosive devices controversy; drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan; intelligence sharing; Coalition Support Fund reimbursements; and military hardware needed by Pakistan.
Gen Kayani is believed to have used the occasion to once again reject the perception that Pakistan’s counter-insurgency operations lacked a sound strategy and were floundering.
He spoke about the graduation of Operation Brekhna in Mohmand Agency to phase two as a reflection of military’s resolve to firmly deal with militants.
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