Beginning US trip, Gen Raheel meets American counterpart

Army chief discusses Afghan peace process with Gen Mark Milley

Agencies/arshad Shaheen November 17, 2015


Army chief General Raheel Sharif met his American counterpart General Mark A. Milley at the Pentagon on Monday and discussed steps taken against terrorism, hurdles to peace in the region and India’s belligerent attitude.

Gen Raheel was warmly received at the Pentagon on Monday as he kicked off his five-day trip to the US.

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According to a local television channel, Gen Raheel briefed Gen Milley about progress in Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the steps taken to eradicate terrorism in the region. He also detailed efforts taken to maintain peace in the region and highlighted the hurdles they were facing.

Gen Raheel clarified Pakistan’s perspective on Afghanistan to Gen Milley.

DG ISPR Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said the Afghan peace process was disrupted due to an information leak from Kabul.'

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Pakistan had brokered the first peace talks between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban in Murree this year. The talks were cancelled after news of former Taliban supremo Mullah Omar’s death was leaked.

Terming it the biggest problem, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) chief said that it was sad that news of Mullah Omar’s death was disclosed just when the first round of talks had been completed successfully and the second round was about to begin.

Noting that there were certain elements who wanted the peace process to fail, Lt Gen Bajwa said that he had always insisted that such elements must be kept in control so that the process could proceed.

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This is the second time Gen Raheel has visited the US this year and comes just a month after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Washington where he met US President Barack Obama.

He is scheduled to meet senior military officials, as well as US Vice President Joe Biden, in the American capital, according to officials.


Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2015.


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