Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday called for continued military cooperation between Pakistan and the United States for dealing with emerging security threats, specifically the militant Islamic State group or Daesh.
He was talking to the new commander of the US Central Command (Centcom) Gen Kenneth McKenzie Jr., who is on a familiarisation tour to the region after assuming his responsibilities on March 28. The new Centcom commander was on a two-day visit to Pakistan.
Mr Khan, during his conversation, emphasised the start of intra-Afghan dialogue as the best way forward for ending the protracted conflict in Afghanistan.
The US has lately shared its new plan for holding ‘‘Moscow format’’ like talks to break the deadlock on intra-Afghan dialogue.
“The stakeholders should sit together to discuss the contours of their future polity after the withdrawal of foreign troops,” he maintained and reiterated the Pakistan government’s long-standing commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan through political settlement.
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Mr Khan also mentioned his government’s commitment to implement the National Action Plan, which had the backing of all political parties in the country. Sharing the priorities of his government including human development and vigorous economic reforms, he reiterated Pakistan’s vision for normalisation of relations with all its neighbours including India.
Gen McKenzie, during his stay in Islamabad, besides meeting PM Khan also met Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Zubair Hayat, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshall Mujahid Anwar and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Abbasi.
In his meetings, the US embassy in a statement said, Gen McKenzie reaffirmed United States’ commitment to security and stability in the region.