UK-Pakistan Army Top Brass Meet; Discuss Afghan Peace Process

Kabul: Regional security issues, especially developments regarding the Afghan peace process were the focal points of discussion during a meeting between Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) UK Army, General Sir Patrick Nicholas and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at General Headquarters (GHQ), a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated on Monday.

General Patrick acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan Army’s sincere efforts in the fight against terrorism and efforts for bringing peace and stability in the region, especially the Afghan Peace Process.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Army Chief of Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa also met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other leaders in Kabul on Monday, sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

According to Reuters, it was not immediately clear what was discussed during the meeting. However, neighbouring Pakistan is regarded as a key player in the Afghan peace process. In the past Islamabad has been accused of harbouring the Taliban, but in recent years, Washington and other Western powers have acknowledged its efforts to push the militant group to take part in peace talks.

In recent weeks, Taliban and diplomatic sources told Reuters, Pakistan has been negotiating with insurgents to try and get them to commit to a ceasefire, agree to an extension of the US-Taliban agreement which stipulated forces should withdraw by May, and to continue to take part in peace talks at a planned conference in Turkey.

Violence has risen starkly in Afghanistan in recent weeks with the Taliban launching attacks throughout the country.

The Taliban announced on Sunday night that they would commit to a three-day ceasefire for Eid later this week.
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