• He is scheduled to meet senior American military and other government officials, ISPR
  • Weeklong trip comes after flurry of visits by American officials to Pakistan

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Syed Asim Munir, has left on Sunday for US on an official visit, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement.

According to the army’s media wing, this is General Syed Asim Munir’s first visit to USA as COAS.

During his visit, General Syed Asim Munir is scheduled to meet the senior military and other government officials of USA.

The COAS’s visit comes after senior US officials visited Pakistan last week. A senior Biden administration official dealing with refugee issues conducted a four-day trip to Islamabad in the first of a series of visits by American officials amid deteriorating ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

 

 

 

Julieta Valls Noyes, the US assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration came Pakistan and stayed in the federal capital.

On conclusion of her visit on December 7, US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Tom West arrived on a trip to Islamabad. After his visit, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Horst, who is responsible for Pakistan, arrived here on December 9.

United States Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, concluded his two-day visit after holding talks with Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership on the security threat posed by banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Afghan refugees related issues.

The top Biden administration diplomat visited Pakistan from 7 to 9 December. In a statement on the social media platform, X, at the conclusion of the trip, West said that he departed Islamabad after a “productive” two-day visit.

“Important conversations with (caretaker Foreign Minister) Jalil Abbas Jilani, Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir, (Special Representative on Afghanistan) Asif Durrani, and MOI Secretary Durrani about grave security challenges posed by TTP as well as imperative to protect Afghan refugees,” he said.

He added that the United States stands with Pakistan against terrorism in the region. “We are also grateful for close communication with Islamabad regarding refugee protection issues, including collaboration with IOs and humane and dignified treatment,” he added.

The flurry of visits by American officials comes against the backdrop of Pakistan’s move to evict all illegal Afghans, rising tensions with the Afghan Taliban over the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the upcoming general elections in February.

“Pakistan and the United States continue to hold consultations on a range of issues. To advance these consultations, exchange of visits also takes place,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in a statement while giving context of the visits.

Pakistan has launched a crackdown on the Afghans living in the country illegally, following the expiry of the October 31 deadline. Since then, the US has been in touch with Pakistan to ensure that Afghans, who were illegible for immigration to the US were spared.

‘Military chief’s visit comes at a crucial juncture’

Distinguished print and TV journalist and anchorperson Kamran Khan took to his ‘X’ account and wrote visit of the COAS to America. He wrote: “Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir has left for the United States on an official visit. He’s the first Pakistan army chief to visit the US since Gen Raheel Sharif’s official visit to the US in November 2015. First in 8 years official visit to the U.S. by Pakistani military chief comes at a crucial juncture. Most importantly war is raging in Gaza and Ukraine; Afghanistan under Taliban failed to keep its promises with international community and remain source of terrorism in Pakistan; importantly elections are due in Pakistan and India with in next several months. Sources say during his about a weeklong visit to US, COAS Gen Asim Munir will meet US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, US National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan, Director CIA William F Burns and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Q Brown Jr.”

 

 

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