Pak-US cooperation vital for peace, security: Consultative Group

RAWALPINDI, Sep 21 (APP): United States-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group (DCG) in its 25th meeting here recognized the centrality of US-Pakistan bilateral security partnership to their overall bilateral relationship and acknowledged that continued cooperation remains vital to promoting peace, security and stability in the region and beyond.

Pakistan’s delegation was led by Defense Secretary Lieutenant General (R) Zamir Ul Hassan Shah and the U.S. delegation was led by Ambassador David B. Shear, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the group
expressed satisfaction that the bilateral security partnership had played a critical role in degrading Al Qaeda and other violent extremists in the region.

They also recognized the sacrifices of Pakistan’s security
forces in securing areas along the Pakistan Afghanistan border.

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Pakistan reaffirmed its commitment to take action against all
terrorists and violent extremists without discrimination.

United States reiterated its support for the Armed Forces of
Pakistan in their ongoing operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), including North Waziristan, and recognized the progress made in disrupting militant networks that has helped enhance security on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The United States acknowledged the progress made by Pakistan’s armed forces in operation Zarb-e-Azb. Pakistan side also expressed its support and desire for stability in Afghanistan, which remains a high priority objective for Pakistan as well.

United States appreciated significant contributions made by
Armed Forces of Pakistan in promoting maritime security in the North Arabian Sea and Horn of Africa through its consistent participation in the U.S led Combined Maritime Forces and recognized the Pakistan Navy for assuming command of Combined Task Force-150 operations.

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Continuing support for bilateral and regional exercises,
security assistance, operational reimbursements and stability
activities also came under discussion during the meeting.

U.S. delegation noted Pakistan’s positive efforts to counter
threats from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). To bolster this cooperation, both sides agreed to continue working together to build counter IED capacity.

The delegation reaffirmed that the DCG remains an invaluable forum to discuss strategic defense policy issues and exchange views on shared security concerns.

They committed to work towards deepening their strong and
longstanding defense partnership.