ISLAMABAD - Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif yesterday reaffirmed total support to the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

“The COAS reiterated whole-hearted support to Afghan leadership for peace and stability in Afghanistan,” head of the military’s media wing Lt Gen Asim Bajwa said on Twitter.

The army chief on Wednesday made a brief stopover in Kabul where he attended the Change of Command Ceremony for the Resolute Support Mission and met with top Afghan leadership, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Asim Bajwa said.

The COAS discussed regional security and border management in meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) General Joseph Dunford, Gen Lloyd J Austin Commander US Central Command (Centcom) and Resolute Support Mission Commander Gen Nicholson.

The meetings focused on checking cross-border movement of terrorists and coordination regarding the Pakistan Army's Shawal offensive.

The COAS reiterated Pakistan's support to the Afghan leadership, Asim Bajwa said, who acknowledged Pakistan Army's efforts and achievements in the war against terrorism and its role in regional stability and peace.

Gen Raheel was on his way back to Pakistan after a day-long visit to Tajikistan, where he met with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and discussed challenges regarding fighting terrorism and the Afghan peace process.

President Ghani acknowledged Pakistan Army’s efforts and achievements in war against terrorism and its role in bringing regional peace and stability.

TALIBAN CLAIM MOHMAND  MINE BLAST

Reuters adds: A faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a roadside bombing that killed two Pakistani employees of a US consulate.

The Jamaat-ur-Ahrar said it detonated the remote-controlled explosive device on Tuesday in the Mohmand Agency.

"Jamaat-ur-Ahrar's mujahideen carried out a remote-controlled bomb attack that sent a FATA secretariat employee and his driver to hell," said a statement emailed to Reuters.

Faisal Khan and Abid Shah were killed while on a drug eradication mission, the US State Department said.