WASHINGTON – Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif reached Washington for an official 5-day visit of the United States on early Monday morning.
The commentators are terming the visit very important in light of regional security and ongoing situation. During his five days stay in the US, he will meet top US leadership and discuss key issues including Afghan government’s negotiations with Taliban and RAW’s involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan. Army Chief will inform American leadership of successes and achievements in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
According to Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, the Army Chief’s visit to the US is crucial in light of the changing regional situation. He said the visit will entail key discussions on bilateral relations, regional security and peace.
The Army Chief will visit Brazil and Ivory Coast after completing the US visit. DG ISPR said Pakistan has always provided support for peace in Afghanistan.
He said that Pakistan had already alerted that terrorists can find safe havens in Afghanistan to escape Operation Zarb-e-Azb, adding that the Afghan government should also take steps to stop terrorists.
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General Raheel Sharif visit comes weeks after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with US President Barack Obama at his Oval Office at the White House. However, the analysts consider the visit of Army chief more crucial than the premier’s observing the fact that Pakistani military has always been more powerful, and the main stakeholder in fight against terrorism and peace process in Afghanistan.
Analysts said General Raheel Sharif’s influence on Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions and Afghan peace talks makes him, rather than the civilian leadership, the dominant broker for Washington’s regional agenda.