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Gen. Raheel offers Kabul military training, logistical support

07 November, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Army chief General Raheel Sharif has offered a "full range of training courses" and capacity-building to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by the Pakistan Army at its training centres.

The army chief also offered the provision of required logistical equipment. The significant development follows Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif's day-long visit to Kabul on Thursday.

It conspicuously coincided with Foreign Office accusing the United States and Afghanistan of lack of cooperation in Pakistan's initiatives on counterterrorism in the context of ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb in the North Waziristan Agency (NWA). In Kabul, Gen Raheel held separate meetings with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Defence Minister General Bismillah Khan Muhammadi, National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar and Afghan National Army (ANA) chief General Sher Muhammad Karimi.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief offered Afghan authorities "full range of training courses and facilities in Pakistan's training institutions to Afghan security forces" besides offering capacity enhancement of an infantry brigade including provision of equipment. General Raheel also congratulated the newly elected Afghan president and expressed the hope that the election of new government in Afghanistan will "prove to be a historic opportunity to transform Pak-Afghan relations into a 'warm and mutually beneficial' relationship."

The army chief reiterated that peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan's best interest and the only way to ensure regional security was to treat terrorism as a common enemy. Military sources said the COAS's offer to the Afghan authorities on training the ANSF comprising ANA and Afghan National Police (ANP) has much to do with the rising number of instances involving unauthorised border crossings from Afghanistan to Pakistan.

In the recent past, several Afghan nationals were arrested by Pakistani military and paramilitary authorities at Pak-Afghan Torkham border, as they did not have travel documents, the sources shared.

Recently, Pakistan Army's Directorate of Military Operations (DMO) reportedly asked the ANA DMO to enhance border surveillance to stop suspicious movements leading to illegal border crossings. The international border remained closed owing to security threats on Monday and Tuesday due to Ashura. Moreover, it has been learnt that army chief's initiative is also part of the strategy the military had mapped out under his command in his capacity as Inspector General Training and Evaluation (IG T&E), a position he held as three-star general, prior to becoming army chief.

Meanwhile, the Afghan defence minister, army chief and top ANA officials briefed the Pakistani delegates over the latest security situation in Afghanistan. Transfer of security responsibility to Afghan National Security Forces in the wake of foreign forces drawdown was also discussed.


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