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US CENTCOM chief calls on COAS Bajwa

RAWALPINDI: United States Central Command (US CENTCOM) commander General Kenneth McKenzie Jr has held a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed the Afghan peace process as well as military cooperation between the two countries.

Inter-Services Public Relations said Friday Gen McKenzie and Gen Bajwa also discussed several pressing issues, including Kashmir, the geostrategic environment, and regional security.

Afghanistan is set to move one step closer to the end of the 19-year-old war as the months’ long-delayed peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government negotiators will begin on Saturday in Qatar.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Doha for the opening of the US-backed negotiations.

The talks had originally been slated to start in March but were repeatedly pushed back amid disputes over a prisoner exchange that included the release of hundreds of battle-hardened Taliban fighters.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan was closely involved in the process that led to the announcement of the upcoming peace deal between the United States and Afghanistan.

Welcoming the start of the peace process, PM Imran said that the people of Afghanistan had been waiting for the day for several years. He added that for the past 40 years, Afghan soil has been in grip of terrorism.

“From day one, I have been saying that there is no military solution to Afghan issue but talks,” he stated.

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