COAS Gen Raheel visits Kabul, meets civil, military leaderships

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 27 (APP): Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Sunday visited Kabul and 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 a press release issued here by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).

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 3 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 element crossing over and getting involved in violence on either side, through active intelligence sharing and Intelligence Based Operations.

Discussing the way forward for peace process in Afghanistan, both sides agreed to work in an already agreed quadrilateral framework.

With a shared responsibility all stakeholders would support and ensure success of an Afghan Government led intra-Afghan dialogue and reconciliation.

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.

Both sides agreed that they would pursue peace and recon 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.

Emphasizing the need to improve bilateral relations it was decided to establish a hotline contact between the Director Generals of Military Operation(DGMO) of both countries and increase frequency of military to military visits for better coordination.

Later, the COAS met US General John F Campbell, Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and visited Bagram Airbase 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.