RAWALPINDI: General James Mattis, US Secretary of Defence, called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ today (Monday).
The meeting was focused on regional security with particular emphasis on Afghanistan as well as other matters of mutual interest.
The army chief acknowledged history of US engagements with Pakistan especially the ongoing efforts for continuing the positivity for peace in the region.
He said that Pakistan has done much more than its due share despite capacity constraints but shall remain committed for peace as a responsible member of international community.
He reiterated Pakistan’s support to peace and stability in the region and highlighted Pakistan’s concerns emanating from Indian use of Afghan soil, the necessity and right of Afghan refugees for a respectable & early repatriation and the existence of terrorist safe havens across the border in Afghanistan.
Gen Mattis expressed his respect for Pakistan Armed Forces and the effective operations undertaken against terrorists. He highlighted concern that a few elements continue to use Pakistan’s territory to further their terrorist agenda in Afghanistan.
He assured that US is ready to play its role in addressing Pakistan’s legitimate concerns, saying that his aim is not to make demands but find common grounds to work together.
The COAS appreciated the dignitary’s understanding of the underlying issues and said that Pakistan does not require anything from US but understanding.
“We have eliminated safe havens from Pakistan’s soil but are prepared to look into the possibility of miscreants exploiting Pakistan’s hospitality to the Afghan Refugees to the detriment of our Afghan brothers,” he said.
Both agreed to work towards specific and sustained actions on each other’s concerns.
Story first published: 4th December 2017