Russian ambassador called on army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and discussed matters of mutual interest including Afghan peace process, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Thursday.
During the meeting regional security situation, enhanced bilateral and defence cooperation were also discussed, it added.
General Qamar told the Russian envoy that peace in Afghanistan is a common goal. “Both reiterated mutual efforts towards achieving the goal. He also said that Pakistan values its relations with Russia and hoped for furthering military-to-military relations between the two countries,” the military’s media wing said.
The COAS appreciated recent visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavro to Pakistan and hoped for further diplomatic engagements at higher level.
The Russian ambassador appreciated Pakistan’s sincere efforts for bringing peace and stability in the region, especially the Afghan reconciliation.
“Both reiterated the commitment to enhance Pak-Russia bilateral relationship,” the communiqué read.
Separately, the ISPR said General Qamar and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), held a telephone conversation on Thursday.
The army chief said that it was a national cause and national effort. Gen Qamar said that "we will only call it a success when no child is affected by polio anymore in Pakistan".
“Credit goes to the grassroots workers including mobile polio teams, law enforcement agencies and health representatives,” the COAS quoted as saying.
Gates conveyed his special appreciation for the Pakistan Army for supporting the national polio drive and ensuring proper reach and coverage of polio campaigns this year, particularly through the involvement of community leaders and influencers, according to the ISPR.
“The COAS appreciated the untiring efforts of Bill Gates and his foundation towards the noble cause of polio eradication at global level and assured him of continued support,” it added.