ISLAMABAD - Afghanistan’s President Dr Ashraf Ghani Monday telephoned Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and assured him of the provision of “enhanced border security measures” on Afghan side to assist Pakistan’s law enforcement and security forces during the time of elections, military’s spokesperson said.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) chief Maj Gen Ghafoor, the Afghan president called the army chief to condole the loss of lives in recent terror incidents in Pakistan. He also assured assistance to Pakistan’s security forces during the election period.

Over 170 people lost their lives in bomb attacks targeting election campaigns in Mastung, Peshawar, and Bannu last week, as the death toll in the Mastung tragedy rose to 149 on Sunday.

The government has since decided to beef up security, with the prime minister urging ‘utmost precaution’ for the security of candidates and public ahead of general elections scheduled for July 25.

President Ghani also called Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk to offer condolences on the recent terrorist attacks targeting the election rallies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Condemning the attacks, he expressed sorrow and sympathy on the loss of lives.

The prime minister termed the attacks as cowardly acts. He said the attacks were aimed at derailing the democratic process in the country. PM Mulk said that the caretaker government “is committed to ensure that elections take place on time.”

Iranian Chief of General Staff calls on COAS

Chief of General Staff Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Dr Mohammad Bagheri along with a high-level delegation visited General Headquarters (GHQ) and called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa. During the meeting matters of mutual interest, regional security, defence cooperation and Pak-Iran border management were discussed, said a statement issued here by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Monday.

The COAS emphasised the need to further enhance military-to-military cooperation between the two Armed Forces. He said that enhanced Pakistan-Iran cooperation would have positive impact on peace and security in the region. The visiting dignitary pledged to keep working for better relations between the two brotherly countries. He also condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Later, Chief Major General Bagheri also called on Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreign Office spokesman, Dr Muhammad Faisal in a statement said different aspects of bilateral relations were discussed during the meeting. “Both appreciated the current state of cooperation between Pakistan and Iran,” the spokesman said in his tweet following the meeting.