Pakistan army chief, Afghan president meet ’positive’


Islamabad, Nov 6 : Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif Thursday met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmedzai during his first visit to the country, the army’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) tweeted.

Military spokesman Gen Asim Bajwa tweeted that the meeting between the two ended on a note of goodwill and positivity, Dawn online reported.

The COAS is also expected to meet Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, Defence Minister Gen Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar and senior military leaders during his one-day visit.

Defence ministry officials said that during his meetings with Afghan civil and military leaders, Sharif would discuss security issues concerning both the countries as well as the scenario after the drawdown of US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The visit is deemed important as it would provide an opportunity to the Pakistani army chief to discuss security, border issues and anti-terrorism cooperation with the new Afghan leaders.

Gen. Sharif will be the third top Pakistani leader to visit Afghanistan in less than two months. President Mamnoon Hussain represented Pakistan at the inauguration ceremony of President Ghani Sep 28.

Pakistan’s top security adviser Sartaj Aziz visited Kabul last month and invited Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to visit Islamabad.

Afghan officials said Ghani is likely to visit Pakistan this month.

Prior to his visit to Kabul, the army chief met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad Wednesday and discussed security matters with him, the PM’s office said.

Both also discussed the overall security situation with particular reference to the ongoing operation against militants.


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