Pakistan Army Chief Gen Bajwa to Visit Afghanistan Sunday

Pakistan’s military chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, will undertake a crucial visit to Afghanistan on Sunday where his delegation is to discuss with Afghan counterparts ways to strengthen bilateral security cooperation and border management efforts.

Earlier on Friday, the National Security Committee (NSC) met in capital Islamabad– chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and attended by services chiefs, finance and federal minsters. The committee reiterated its commitment for peace in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

While no official details of Bajwa’s expected engagements in Kabul have been announced, he is scheduled to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, a Pakistani official told VOA on condition of anonymity.

General Bajwa is expected to reiterate offers of training for Afghan soldiers and police personnel in Pakistani institutions and emphasized the need for the two countries to resolve differences by relying on bilateral mechanisms and dialogue.

Border management is said to be a top agenda point. Pakistan is building a fence and new security outposts on the nearly 2,600-kilometer border with Afghanistan.

Chief military spokesman Major-General Asif Ghafoor said the fence will be in place within the next two years, report VoaNews.

“If Afghans are willing to build the fence and posts on their side, we are ready to do it for you so that only peaceful citizens can cross the border,” he recently told a group of Afghan and Pakistani reporters.

Until a few years ago, he said, the border was free of observation posts, terrorists were “roaming freely” in both directions but “today from our side 90 percent of the areas are difficult to infiltrate.”

Pakistani authorities maintain that militants who have fled security operations have taken shelter in Afghanistan and plot attacks against the country with the help of the Afghan intelligence agency.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, at a public talk in New York earlier this week, recounted his country’s contributions to fighting terrorism and helping U.S.-backed efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. He criticized U.S. attempts to single out Pakistan for all the ills plaguing the war-ravage country.

“The drug production in Afghanistan has gone up by 3,700 percent. Are we responsible? Daesh [Islamic State group] is there in three [Afghan] provinces, proven presence. Are we responsible for that? Forty percent of territory to the Taliban in the last 15 years. Are we responsible for that? The corruption, Afghan soldiers selling their weapons in open market to the Taliban. Are we responsible for that?”

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