ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Thursday there was more to do in the fight against terrorism.
“While acknowledging that there is more to do, both leaders were pleased with the progress to date,” a statement by the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said after a meeting between Gen Kayani and outgoing commander of the 50-nation coalition force in Afghanistan Gen John Allen.
This was Isaf commander’s farewell call on Gen Kayani as he departs after completing his tenure in Afghanistan.
Gen Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the new Isaf commander, also attended the meeting at the military headquarters in Rawalpindi. Issues relating to peace and stability in the region and strengthening cross-border cooperation were discussed.
Isaf described the meeting as “the latest in a regular series of engagements aimed at bolstering the military-to-military relationship between Isaf and Pakistan as well as improving security in the region”.
Pakistan military’s public affairs wing, ISPR, did not issue a statement on the meeting.
Pakistani leaders, particularly the military commanders, have always resented the American “do more” mantra, therefore it was probably one of those rare occasions that the army chief himself acknowledged that the counter-terrorism efforts needed to be expanded.
In the past, Pakistani leaders responded to “do more” demands by saying the US instead needed to do more in the war in Afghanistan.
The US frustration with Pakistan had been about the continued presence of terrorist sanctuaries in tribal areas along the Pak-Afghan border and the presence of the Haqqani network.
However, both sides appreciated the improved coordination between Isaf and Pakistani military over the past year after the relationship hit rock bottom in the aftermath of the Salala border post attack in which several Pakistani troops were killed.
In an interview, before his departure from Afghanistan, Gen Allen said Afghan society’s transformation might be a protracted process taking decades, but noted that things were improving.
“Let me make sure I’m clear on this. Nothing is sure in a post-conflict society. But I think indicators, as far as I’m concerned, are that we’re on the right trajectory. What you have to understand, what people have to understand is some of these reforms take very long time. In an environment where human rights were crashed under multiple different invasions or civil wars or the Taliban, creating once again the kind of bias for human rights that we would all expect in the western society, just doesn’t come easily to this country.“Nothing will happen in this country without security. And that security is being purchased every single day by the Afghan National Security forces,” he added.