Bajwa meets top military chiefs in Kabul to discuss regional security

Salaam Times


NATO Resolute Support Mission Commander Gen. John Nicholson, along with a number of military officials from the region and the United States, listen to Pakistani Chief Of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa at a security conference in Kabul Tuesday (February 13). [ISPR]

RAWALPINDI -- Top military chiefs from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and a number of Central Asian countries met in Kabul Tuesday (February 13) to discuss a range of security issues.

US CENTCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel, NATO Resolute Support Mission Commander Gen. John Nicholson, Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, and Afghan army chief Lt. Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali were among those in attendance.

Military chiefs of several Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and a number of NATO officials were also at the meeting.

The focus of the conference was to discuss fighting the insurgency and boosting military co-operation among the countries, according to Afghan officials, TOLO News reported.

Bajwa told conferees that the "path to regional peace and stability passes through Afghanistan", according to Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).

"A collaborative approach and persistence is the answer to all challenges, for which Pakistan is ready to play its part," said Bajwa, according to ISPR.

Gen. Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that "I believe that at last Pakistan will bow to international pressure and will join the fight against terrorism."

Tuesday's meeting comes amid an uptick in attacks by Taliban and "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) militants across Afghanistan.

Co-operation 'can guarantee peace'

Pakistan and Afghanistan cannot contend with the seemingly endless series of terrorist acts in the region without co-operating, said Peshawar-based security analyst Brig. (ret.) Mehmood Shah.

"There is an urgent need for unity among Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States ... to defeat militants on both sides of the border," he told Salaam Times.

"Solid co-operation between [Afghanistan and Pakistan] can guarantee complete peace," he said.

The Kabul meeting Tuesday is vital, Shah said.

"Both countries should find ways and means to secure their border regions and share intelligence about the presence and activities of militants,” he said.

They have suffered immensely from militancy and it is long since time for them to realise the destruction caused by terrorists on both sides of the border, he said.

"The people of both countries want peace and hate terrorism," he said.

[Ashfaq Yusufzai from Peshawar contributed to this report.]

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