ISLAMABAD -  Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated on Thursday that peace in Afghanistan is more important for Pakistan than any other country.

Talking to Commander US Central Command General Joseph L Votel who called on him in Rawalpindi, the Army Chief reiterated that despite constraints, Pakistan has done its best for the sake of Afghan future.

“We will continue our efforts towards that end in line with the aspirations of Pakistani people,” General Bajwa was quoted by ISPR as telling to the Commander US Central Command.

ISPR said that two military leaders discussed regional security, particularly with regards to Afghanistan, Pak-Afghan border management and Pakistan's contributions towards peace and stability in the region. The COAS reiterated that peace in Afghanistan is more important for Pakistan than any other country, and that it had done its best despite constraints and would continue to do so in line with the aspirations of the Pakistani people.

However, he lamented: "The same was not being reciprocated as is evident from the continued attacks from across the border".

The statement comes days after an attack on a Pakistani check post in Bajaur Agency from across the Pak-Afghan border martyred two soldiers and left four others wounded. Gen Votel appreciated and acknowledged the army's contributions and Pakistan's sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, ISPR said.

General Joseph Votel, Commander, United States Central Command, completed a two-day visit to Pakistan this week.

During his stay in Pakistan, US Votel also had interactions with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Hayat and Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar; and other officials.

A US embassy statement said that General Votel’s meetings continued senior-level US engagement with Pakistani leaders, advancing the Trump Administration’s South Asia policy goals.

He discussed the importance of improved Afghan-Pakistani relations, and emphasised the need for strengthened border security, including measures to coordinate military operations along both sides of the border.

Votel underscored the vital role Pakistan can play in facilitating a peace process in Afghanistan and in bringing stability and security to the region.

In his meetings, Gen Votel expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.

Votel acknowledged the progress Pakistan has made but stressed the administration’s message that Pakistan must prevent all militants from operating within and across its borders.

PAKISTAN FULLY COGNIZANT OF

SECURITY CHALLENGES: DASTGIR

Minister for Defence Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that Pakistan is fully cognizant of asymmetrical and dynamic security challenges emerging in the 21st century.

“We support the concept of ‘smart pledges’ and are willing to form partnerships with fellow UN members for peacekeeping operations while speaking on the panel “Early Warning and Deployment” during the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Meeting that concluded in Vancouver, Canada on Thursday.

The Defence Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to UN principles and to UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (UNPCRS).

“Pakistan has pledged troops and equipment generously for peacekeeping. Yet rapid deployment of peacekeeping troops to ward off genocide and mass suffering remains one of the greatest challenges faced by the United Nations. The onus is now on the UN to provide clear milestones and timelines for internal reforms that support rapid deployment,” he said.