Pakistan cannot allow the war in Afghanistan to spill into its own territory, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa told his Afghan counterpart Gen Sharif Yaftali on Sunday.
Gen Qamar met the Afghan army chief on the sidelines of a meeting of the Quadrilateral Counter-Terrorism Coordination Mechanism (QCCM) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
In his meeting with Afghanistan’s Gen Yaftali, the COAS assured the neighbouring country of Pakistan’s support. However, he added that Pakistan could not let the Afghan war spill into its territory, according to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement.
Gen Qamar said Pakistan has already cleared all its areas [of terrorists] and had taken unilateral border security measures, including fencing.
Apart from border security management, the other key factor to ensure enduring peace is the dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees, he said.
Army chief, Qatari leadership discuss Afghan peace process
The COAS reassured Afghan side that Pakistan was open to any suggestion that could facilitate peace in Afghanistan.
In this spirit, he offered to form a Pak-Afghan army working group to jointly work and formulate security recommendations for a government-level discussion aimed at addressing mutual concerns.
Gen Yaftali agreed to the proposal and thanked Gen Qamar for his relentless efforts towards peace.
Earlier, senior military leaders of the four member countries including COAS Gen Qamar, Gen Yaftali, Gen Li Zuocheng of China, and Gen Sobirzoda Imomali Abdurrahim of Tajikistan attended the meeting.
All four leaders welcomed the QCCM initiative and expressed hope that an inclusive and cooperative regional approach would be the best way to eradicate terrorism.
Gen Qamar highlighted Pakistan’s achievements in the fight against terrorism and in eliminating terrorists’ safe havens from its soil.
He said terrorism, being a transnational threat, could only be defeated through intelligence-sharing and coordinated effective border management.
The participants also signed an outline cooperative mechanism which will come into effect after its endorsement by the respective governments.