Engaging the Taliban: Top US general lauds Pakistan’s role in Afghan dialogue

Gen Campbell appreciates gains of Zarb-e-Azb which is helping the cause of peace in the region


Kamran Yousuf July 24, 2015
Commander US Forces in Afghanistan Gen John F Campbell and Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif exchange views. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD:


A top US commander stationed in Afghanistan has heaped praise on Pakistan for its earnest effort to facilitate crucial dialogue between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives in hill resort of Murree.


General John F. Campbell, Commander Resolute Support Mission and United States Forces in Afghanistan, voiced appreciation in particular for the role played by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif in facilitating the Murree talks.

The statement came during Gen Campbell’s meeting with General Raheel Sharif in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said matters related to security situation along the Pak-Afghan border region came under discussion.

The top American military commander acknowledged Pakistan’s sincere efforts and particularly those of General Raheel for facilitating Murree peace talks, said the military’s media wing.

The talks in Murree were the first formal direct contact between the Afghan government and Taliban. Officials from Pakistan, China and the US were also there at the talks suggesting that all major stakeholders were on the same page.

Both sides agreed to continue the talks with an aim to find a peaceful end to over a decade long conflict in Afghanistan. The next round is expected to take place later this month in China.

It is believed that during his visit to Kabul in May, the army chief personally assured the Afghan president that Pakistan would bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

The ISPR said during the meeting at the General Headquarters, the Army Chief and US general also discussed the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb.

General Campbell, the ISPR said, appreciated gains of ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb which were helping the cause of peace and stability in the region.

Delegation-level talks were also held which focused on issue related to further improving the border coordination mechanism.


Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2015.

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