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US Senators laud Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts

WASHINGTON: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Thursday met with members of US Senate Committee on Intelligence to discuss regional security and counter-terrorism strategy.
The director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Lt Gen Asim Bajwa, informed through a series of tweets that the committee chairman Richard Burr and vice chairman Dianne Feinstein lauded Pakistan’s sacrifices in anti-terror war and the country’s anti-terrorism strategy which resulted in decline of such incidents on its soil.
The committee members were of the view that Pakistan has forced terrorists on back foot and has turned the tide of terrorism, while assuring the COAS of their full support and co-operation in this regard.
In another scheduled meeting, the army chief met Senate Committee on Armed Services at Capitol Hill.
Committee Chairman Senator John McCain along with other members were present during the meeting. McCain appreciated long standing Pak-US defence ties and emphasised on the need to reinforce this partnership in view of emerging developments.
The committee chairman also lauded Pakistan Army’s role in fighting terrorists in North Waziristan area, on both sides of Pak-Afghan border.
On Wednesday, the army chief met the Secretary of State John Kerry and discussed matters relating to regional security and highlighted the need to resolve Kashmir issue.
Challenges related to Afghanistan and India, and the measures to solve them had dominated the discussion between the two dignitaries.
Earlier on Monday,Raheel Sharif met CIA chief John Brennan and discussed security challenges facing the region and the way forward to confront these.
The army chief stressed the need for a conducive environment in the region for re-initiating an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process while the CIA director acknowledged the accomplishments of Zarb-i-Azb and its positive impact on the security calculus.
While on Tuesday, army chief met US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter and Deputy Secretary of Defence Robert O. Work, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Gen Joseph Dunford, Army Chief of Staff Gen Mark Milley and Centcom (Central Command) chief Gen Lloyd Austin.
During the meetings, Gen Raheel and American officials discussed defence cooperation between US and Pakistan and the need for enhanced defence coordination.
The army chief is in the United States on a five-day visit, in a trip analysts have said will underscore security issues facing Islamabad and Washington in the region as well as the dynamics relating to civilian-military ties within Pakistan.
After spending five days in Washington, the army chief would go to Brazil on a three-day visit for talks on cooperation between the two militaries. From Brazil, he will go to Ivory Coast to spend a day with Pakistani troops who were serving there as part of the UN peace keeping force.
The US Department of Defence said on Monday Washington was grateful that the COAS was visiting the US for consultations on bilateral issues, Dawn newspaper reported.
The visit comes weeks after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with US President Barack Obama at the Oval Office to discuss many of the same issues said to be on his army chief’s agenda, including Afghan peace talks and Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions.

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