- COAS, Afghan leadership agree to resume peace dialogue
RAWALPINDI, December 27: Discussing the way forward for peace process in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and top Afghan leadership on Sunday agreed to work in an already agreed quadrilateral framework.
“With a shared responsibility all stakeholders would support and ensure success of an Afghan Govt-led intra-Afghan dialogue and reconciliation,” said a statement issued here by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).
According to the statement, the first round of ‘quadrilateral meeting’ will be scheduled in January to work out a clear and comprehensive road map for a meaningful peace process with a clear demarcation of responsibilities of each stakeholder at all stages.
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif is in Kabul today on a day-long visit. He held meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah.
Discussions were held on mutual security related issues including information sharing, coordinated counter terrorism operations on respective sides and way forward for Afghan peace process, said the statement by the Pakistan Army’s media wing.
Both sides agreed that they would pursue peace and reconciliation with Taliban groups willing to join the process. Elements who would still continue to pursue violence will be dealt, under a mutually worked out framework, said the statement.
The COAS stressed on instituting an efficient mechanism for better coordination and preclude chances of any individual or group crossing over to either side.
“Notwithstanding the complexity of prolonged presence of over three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and intimate cross border tribal linkages, both sides reiterated not to allow use of their respective soil against each other and agreed to sternly handle any elements crossing over and getting involved in violence on either side, through active intelligence sharing and Intelligence Based Operations(IBOs).”
Emphasizing the need to improve bilateral relations, it was decided to establish a hot line contact between the DGMOs of both countries and increase frequency of mil to mil visits for better coordination.
Later, the Army chief met Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, Gen John F Campbell and visited Bagram Air Base where he was briefed on the capabilities of Resolute Support Mission and special operations.
Matters of mutual interest, regional security issues with particular reference to reconciliation process in Afghanistan and better coordination for operations along bordering regions came under discussion, the statement concluded.-Agencies