New US CENTCOM chief visits Pak COAS to discuss security

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Incoming US Centcom chief General Kenneth McKenzie discussed geo-strategic environment and regional security including Afghanistan and Pakistan-India standoff in a meeting with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Sunday.

A US delegation led by Gen McKenzie called on the army chief at GHQ in Rawalpindi, said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The meeting takes place two days after President Donald Trump’s point man for Afghanistan held talks with Pakistani authorities to bridge differences between the two countries on how to put an end to the 18-year-long conflict in Afghanistan.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, flew from Kabul to Islamabad to have wide-ranging discussions with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other officials. He also visited the General Headquarters to meet the army chief.

Khalilzad’s visit is part of his trip to the regional countries to discuss Afghan endgame. He spent five days in Kabul before arriving in Pakistan. In Islamabad, Khalilzad also led delegation level talks with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.

The focus of discussions remained on the ongoing efforts to seek a political solution to the Afghan conflict. In recent months, Khalilzad has held several rounds of the talks with Afghan Taliban’s representatives in Doha. Talks have been facilitated by Pakistan.

The Express Tribune

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