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June 13, 2018

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Fence is for terrorists, not for people: COAS

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa reached back home on Tuesday after visiting Kabul, where he held an exclusive one on one meeting with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani followed by delegation level discussions.

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Gen Bajwa also met with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and Commander Resolute Support Mission (RSM) General John Nicholson.

He was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Director General ISI Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar, Pakistan’s Ambassador in Kabul and other senior officials.

The COAS congratulated the Afghan authorities on recent peace initiatives, especially in respect of the holy month of Ramazan/Eid and wished that these steps gain more of permanence ultimately leading towards an enduring peace.

The discussions encompassed a wide range of issues, especially the ongoing efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan, measures needed to check the rise of Daesh and the issue of terrorists benefiting from the porous border to indulge in terrorism, smuggling and drug trafficking, being often networked together.

The COAS reiterated that it was the regions and not countries that develop for which peace and development remained quintessential.

He further said that having attained relative peace and stability inside Pakistan, efforts were now focused on socio-economic development as a route towards enduring peace and stability.

Gen Bajwa said the recently agreed Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Stability (APAPPS) was expected to bring more cooperation and coordination between the two countries.

Referring to border fencing, the COAS said it was an obstacle for checking terrorism and not between the people of both sides.

Ashraf Ghani thanked Gen Bajwa for his visit and the recent security initiatives undertaken for peace and stability.

He also shared the contours of his vision about regional development, efforts to extend ongoing temporary ceasefire and steps related to creating conditions for reconciliation.

Abdullah Abdullah also thanked the COAS for his visit and APAPPS initiative.

Both sides agreed that while results of bilateral initiatives were extremely important but even more important was the continuity of processes to achieve the end state objectives.

Talking to the Commander RSM, the COAS said Pakistan desired that US and Nato forces must succeed and leave behind a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Earlier, upon arrival at the presidential palace, the COAS was presented guard of honour.

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