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CENTCOM Chief calls on Pakistan COAS, Regional situation discussed

Rawalpindi: Commander Central Command (CENTCOM) General Michael Erik Kurilla on Thursday visited General Headquarters (GHQ) and discussed the security situation in the region as well as other related matters of mutual interest.

The US general laid a floral wreath at the Martyrs’ Monument in honour of the martyrs of Pakistan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The military’s media wing also revealed that a contingent of the Pakistan Army presented a guard of honor to the visiting dignitary.

Later, the US commander called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir followed by a delegation-level meeting.

According to the ISPR, matters of mutual interest, regional stability and the security situation, defence and security cooperation particularly military-to-military ties were discussed during the meeting.

The commander acknowledged Pakistan’s achievements in the fight against terrorism, flood relief and contributions to regional peace.

The delegation visit to Torkham today (Thursday) was scheduled as well for the appraisal of counter-terrorism and border management mechanisms in place along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Earlier this month, the US had warned of ‘action’ against the Taliban regime if it observed international terrorists regrouping in Afghanistan.

In a press briefing, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, while responding to a question regarding the Taliban’s inability to fulfill their commitments regarding safe havens for terrorist groups, had stated that the militant group was “either unable or unwilling to live up to the commitments that they’ve made in a number of areas”.

“One of those areas is the commitment they have made to counterterrorism, to seeing to it that Afghanistan does not once again become a haven for international terrorists, a launch pad for attacks against countries well beyond its borders,” he had stated, adding that this was an interest of the US.

The spokesperson had maintained that the US had “capabilities” regarding counterterrorism in the region which did not leave them “entirely beholden to the Taliban”.

He had highlighted that the US had “demonstrated those capabilities in recent months with the killing of the now-deceased al-Qaida emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri”.

According to Price, the US had made “good on the pledge that you have consistently heard from President Biden since the withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan last year, that we will take action if we see international terrorists regrouping in Afghanistan”.

“We will take action in a way that protects our interests”, he had reiterated.

He had mentioned that the US’s “broader goal” was to ensure that other groups do not use Afghanistan as a launch pad for attacks on Pakistan.

“We are determined to work with our partners in the region, including Pakistan, to do what we can to take on the threat of terrorism in the region, and certainly the threat of terrorism that extends well beyond the region,” he had said.

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