US Secretary of State telephones army chief to discuss drawdown plan

Pakistan will always support an “Afghan led-Afghan Owned” peace process, army chief tells Blinken


Kamran Yousaf April 14, 2021
During the meeting, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken disuccsed regional security situation, including latest developments in Afghan Peace Process. PHOTO: EXPRESS/File

ISLAMABAD:

Just ahead of the formal announcement of US President Joe Biden regarding troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday spoke to army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who called for "mutual consensus" among all the stakeholders for the peace process.

President Biden after reviewing the Afghan peace efforts has finally concluded that the US forces would have to withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11, this year.

This means the Biden administration is not going to meet the May 1 deadline, set in the February 29 deal between the US and Afghan Taliban.

The insurgent group, after the US decision, has announced not to take part in any peace talks forcing Washington to postpone a key conference scheduled to begin in Turkey later this week.

Read Biden ready to announce US withdrawal, even as peace eludes Afghanistan

On Wednesday, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken had a telephone conversation, said an ISPR statement.

"During the meeting matters of mutual interest, regional security situation including latest developments in Afghan Peace Process and bilateral cooperation in various fields were discussed," the official handout read.

The army chief said that Pakistan will always support an “Afghan led-Afghan Owned” peace process based on mutual consensus of all stakeholders.

The US secretary of state also acknowledged Pakistan’s continuous efforts for peace and stability in the region and pledged to further enhance bilateral relations between both the countries.

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