Afghan General Visits Pakistan
In his recent visit to Islamabad, Afghanistan’s Defense Minister, General Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, formulated a joint security plan with Pakistani military officials to ensure regional peace following the withdrawal of US-led foreign troops in 2014. The visiting Afghan delegation met Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. According to the strategic plan, the security forces of Pakistan and Afghanistan will take over the security arrangements while the role of US-led forces will gradually decrease in the months leading to the drawdown date.
The visit of Afghan delegates signals an effort to forge closer defense and diplomatic ties with Pakistan. The two countries share a common border, which in the past has resulted in secu- rity breaches and has jeopardized bilateral relations. The officials discussed the recent cross-border attacks as well as matters of professional interest, with a special focus on enhancing defense cooperation and discussing measures that the Afghan National Army and Pakistan Army could mutually adopt for an enhanced long-term relationship.
Officials from both countries renewed guarantees to increase the level of security coordination. To ensure this, the security forces of the two countries would receive military training to counter any threat that may present itself following the NATO troops’ withdrawal. In addition, Pakistan showed its willingness to train Afghan soldiers at its military training institutions. General Bismillah’s visit to Pakistan, at a time of transition in both countries, testifies that Pak-Afghan ties are moving towards a broad-based relationship.