WASHINGTON, Dec 01 (INP): Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif met with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday at the US Department of State,during which John Kerry acknowledged Pakistan’s role in fighting terror and its sacrifices.
According to a Twitter update by Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa, John Kerry praised Pakistan army’s professionalism and termed it as truly binding force.
During the meeting General Raheel Sharif presented Pakistan’s perspective on regional security issues. The meeting reviewed relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, particularly cross-border cooperation between the two neighbouring countries and the challenges to regional security, with an emphasis on regional peace and stability.
In the special meeting, Pakistani Ambassador to US Jalil Abbas Jilani was also present.
Kerry also welcomed progress on improved ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan as a step towards regional stability and assured the United States’ full support in this regard.
Praise from the US Secretary of State follows acknowledgment of Pakistan’s efforts by US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Dan Feldman.
The US envoy, after holding a meeting with Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif had said, “Yes, we all recognise that significant progress has been made” in the fight against terrorists since the North Waziristan operation, he said.
“We also recognise that more work needs to be done, but there’s true commitment from Gen Sharif to deliver on this,” said the US envoy.
“People in Washington were very pleased with his commitment” to fighting all terrorists, including the Haqqani network, he said.
Gen Sharif came to the United States on a two-week visit earlier this month for talks on strategic issues and on Operation Zarb-i-Azb.
He has already met senior officials at the White House, the State Department and the US Department of Defence.
He also met US services chiefs and visited headquarters of the US Central Command for talks on issues related to US strategies in the Pak-Afghan region. The Central Command oversees US military efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
During his presentations in Washington, Gen Sharif assured the US administration that the operation in North Waziristan was directed against all terrorist groups. He told US officials, who were particularly concerned about the activities of the Haqqani network that the Haqqanis were among the groups Pakistan was targeting and there were no exceptions in this operation.
Senior US officials told that they found Gen Sharif “honest and straightforward” and had reasons to believe his assurance that Pakistan was now targeting the Haqqani network.