RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa Tuesday returned home after a day-long visit to Kabul, Afghanistan.

During the visit, the COAS had exclusive one-to-one meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani followed by delegations level discussions. He also had meetings with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and Commander Resolute Support Mission (RSM) General John Nicholson, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release said.

The COAS congratulated Afghan authorities on recent peace initiatives, especially in respect of the holy month of Ramazan/Eid and wished that those steps gained more of permanence, ultimately leading towards an enduring peace.

The discussions encompassed a wide range of issues, especially the ongoing efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan, measures needed to check the rise of ISIS and the issue of terrorists taking benefit of the porous border to indulge in terrorism, smuggling and drug trafficking, being often networked together.

General Bajwa reiterated that it was the regions and not countries that developed, for which peace and development remained quintessential.

He said that having attained relative peace and stability inside Pakistan, efforts were now focused towards socio-economic development as a route towards enduring peace and stability.

The COAS said that recently agreed Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Stability (APAPPS) was expected to bring more cooperation and coordination between the two countries. Referring to border fencing, COAS said that it was an obstacle for checking terrorism and not between people of both sides.

The Afghan President thanked the COAS for his visit and recent security initiatives undertaken for peace and stability. The president shared contours of his vision about regional development, efforts to extend ongoing temporary ceasefire and steps related to creating conditions for reconciliation.

The Chief Executive also thanked the COAS for his visit and the APAPPS initiative. Both the sides agreed that while results of the bilateral initiatives were extremely important, but even more important was the continuity of the processes to achieve the end state objectives.

Talking to the Commander RSM, General Qamar Bajwa said that Pakistan desired that US/ NATO forces must succeed and leave behind a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Earlier, upon arrival at the presidential palace, the COAS was presented guard of honour. Foreign Secretary, DG ISI, Pakistan’s ambassador in Afghanistan and other senior officials accompanied the COAS, while Afghan NSA and senior ministers including NDS joined Afghan delegation.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa left for Kabul on Tuesday on the invitation of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted, "Pakistan wishes to see [the] National Unity Government and US/ NATO succeeding to bring peace in Afghanistan." 

Moreover, after the ceasefire announcement from Afghan government and Taliban on June 7, a spokesman for the Foreign office of Pakistan said in a statement on June 9 that Pakistan had reiterated its support for recent peace initiatives in Afghanistan after the Afghan government and the Taliban agreed on a ceasefire during Eid-ul-Fitr.

He said, "Pakistan wishes to reiterate its support of recent peace initiatives in Afghanistan."

The spokesman added, "We particularly support all Afghan-owned and Afghan-led efforts aimed at bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan. We also wish our Afghan brothers and sisters a peaceful and blessed month of Ramazan and a happy Eid."