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COAS, Pentagon chief discuss ‘recent regional developments’ over phone


RAWALPINDI, OCT 4: Army chief General Asim Munir on Tuesday discussed “recent regional developments” with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, the US Department of Defence said in a statement.

In a brief statement, the defence department said the chief of army staff (COAS) and Secretary Austin discussed the regional matters during a phone call. They also discussed areas of mutual interest between the two countries.

The military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), is yet to issue a statement on the phone call.

This is the second time that Gen Munir and the US secretary have spoken on the phone.

The last time they spoke was in January of this year, when the US defence secretary had called Gen Munir to congratulate him on taking charge as the army chief.

The call comes amid a spike in terror activities since Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced an end to a ceasefire with Pakistan last year in November, the forces have ramped up operations against militants.

Pakistani authorities have blamed Afghanistan for allowing militants to use its soil, with interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti saying that 14 of 24 suicide bombings in the country this year were carried out by Afghan nationals.

The government, as a result of these activities, has ordered all illegal immigrants, including 1.73 million Afghan nationals, to leave the country or face expulsion.

According to a statistical report released by the independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), at least 271 militant attacks took place during the first half of 2023, resulting in the loss of 389 lives and injuring 656 individuals.

Terror activities in the country soared by 79% during the period.

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