" Washington backs Kabul-Taliban earlyDated : 01/01/1970, 00:00 AM
Army chief General Raheel Sharif and US Vice President Joe Biden on Friday called for the early resumption of the stalled peace talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to bring lasting peace to the war-torn country.
The two met at the White House and discussed wide-ranging issues including the current regional security situation. Gen Raheel’s meeting with Biden was the high point of his five-day visit to the US during which he also interacted with US secretary of state, secretary of defence, CIA chief and top military commanders.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Lt-Gen Asim Salim Bajwa, Biden and Gen Raheel exchanged views for nearly two hours on issues of mutual interests, regional security and stability in a candid and cordial atmosphere.
“They stressed the early resumption of the reconciliation process to achieve lasting peace in Afghanistan, which is critical to peace and stability in region,” said the chief military spokesperson, who also attended the meeting.
Acknowledging Pakistan’s crucial role for peace, Bajwa said Biden had recognised Pakistan’s immense sacrifices both in terms of human lives and economic losses.
“The US vice president appreciated Pakistan’s contributions in the war on terror. The US wants to further the growing relationship,” he added.
Biden reiterated firm US commitment to work closely with Pakistan in all areas of mutual interest, deepening and expanding cooperation to counter new and emerging threats.
The army chief gave Pakistan’s perspective of security and stability in region, which he emphasised, needed to be understood.
Later, Gen Raheel told the Pakistani community in Washington that the armed forces were committed to the restoration of peace in Pakistan and will take Operation Zarb-e-Azb to its logical conclusion. He added that Pakistan wants cordial relations with all neighbouring countries.
No tolerance for Da’ish
Lt Gen Bajwa said Pakistan has zero tolerance for the militant group Da’ish (also known as Islamic State) but a global response was needed to counter this global threat.
“There is a zero tolerance for Da’ish in Pakistan. Not even a shadow of Da’ish will be allowed in Pakistan,” he told reporters at a briefing in Washington on Thursday.
Vowing to take action against any visible signs of the militant group in Pakistan, he said the Pakistani society had rejected the group which has claimed responsibility for attacks such as the bombing of the Metrojet flight and last week’s Paris massacre."