RAWALPINDI - US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Ambassador Alice G. Wells, called on Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi Monday.

“Regional security environment and matters of mutual interest were discussed,” said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement. The COAS, the military’s media wing added, reiterated Pakistan is committed to peace and stability in the region, particularly in Afghanistan through a national approach. Gen Qamar said Pakistan also expects from other players in the region to play a positive part equally.

The chief of the army staff assured the United States of their complete support for keeping peace in the region. He, however, said other partners of the region should also work for the lasting peace in the region.

Ambassador Wells said the US is committed to the lasting peace and supports all efforts towards that end.

“Both the leaders agreed that bilateral convergences should be leveraged to gain positive momentum rather than remaining hostage to perceptions,” the ISPR added regarding the meeting.

Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also conveyed his concerns to the United States through Alice G Wells regarding the growing activities of India’s intelligence agency, RAW, in destabilising Pakistan.

“We believe RAW is directly involved in sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan by supporting TTP and its affiliates hiding in Afghanistan. Pakistan had busted RAW network and arrested one of its senior officers from Balochistan,” he said.

“TPP’s top leadership that fled to Afghanistan during operation Zarb-e-Azb has been carrying out terrorist attacks from Afghanistan on Pakistani security posts and cities. Islamabad strongly believes TTP has no capacity to carry out its activities without help from other sources,” the COAS asserted. Pakistan had purged its territory of all the terrorist sanctuaries, including North Waziristan Agency, and had also forced Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network to run, he affirmed.

Wells arrived in Islamabad last week to discuss the matters pertaining to terrorism and bilateral ties. This is her second visit to Pakistan this year, which aims at continuing the Pak-US conversation to strengthen bilateral relations and promote peace and security in the region.

Wells also held meetings with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and National Security Adviser Lt Gen (r) Nasser Khan Janjua. Early resolution of the Afghan issue is top priority of Pakistan, National Security Adviser Lt Gen (r) Nasser Khan Janjua said after meeting with Wells.

On March 11, the envoy stated the US believes Pakistan can play more important role in shaping the Afghan Taliban’s behaviour. She asserted Islamabad’s role was critical to provide incentives to the Afghan Taliban for holding negotiations with the Ashraf Ghani government.

Having served as a political officer at the US Embassy in Islamabad, Wells previously visited Pakistan back in January, this year, accompanied by senior officials from US National Security Council and Ambassador David Hale. During her previous visit too, Wells stressed Pakistan’s role was critical to the success of her country’s strategy in Afghanistan.

Miftah shares state of economy with Wells

US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Ambassador Alice G. Wells called on Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Miftah Ismail here on Monday. They discussed Pak-US ties with focus on economic cooperation. The overall security situation in the region also came under discussion. Adviser Miftah Ismail welcomed Ms Wells and said such bilateral visits enhance understanding of each other’s point of view on important issues. He also shared with Wells the current state of economy and said the growth momentum generated during the last four years is likely to continue during the current year and beyond.

Ambassador Wells apprised the adviser of her interaction with the US businessmen having their operations in Pakistan and said they see a lot of potential in Islamabad’s economy.

US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance were present on the occasion