ISLAMABAD - Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday hoped that the peace initiatives and truce reached between the Afghanistan government and Taliban for the holy month of Ramazan would gain permanence, ultimately lead to enduring peace in the country.

During his day-long visit to Kabul, the army chief congratulated Afghan authorities on the recent peace initiatives especially the ceasefire truce leading up to Eidul Fitr.

“During the visit, the COAS had exclusive one-on-one meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani followed by delegation-level discussions. He also had meetings with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and Commander Resolute Support Mission (RSM) General John Nicholson,” said a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The discussions encompassed wide range of issues, especially the ongoing efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan, measures needed to check the rise of the ISIS and the issue of terrorists taking benefit of the porous border to indulge in terrorism, smuggling and drug trafficking, being often networked together, the ISPR said.

The COAS reiterated that it was the regions and not countries that developed, for which peace and development remained quintessential.

He said that having attained relative peace and stability inside Pakistan, efforts were now focused towards socio-economic development as a route towards enduring peace and stability.

The COAS said that the recently agreed Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Stability (APAPPS) was expected to bring more cooperation and coordination between the two countries. Referring to the border fencing, the army chief said that it was an obstacle for checking terrorism and not between people of both sides.

The Afghan president thanked the COAS for his visit and recent security initiatives undertaken for peace and stability. The president shared contours of his vision about regional development, efforts to extend ongoing temporary ceasefire and steps related to creating conditions for reconciliation.

The Afghan chief executive also thanked the COAS for his visit and the APAPPS initiative.

Both the sides agreed that while results of the bilateral initiatives were extremely important, even more important was the continuity of the processes to achieve the end state objectives.

Talking to the commander RSM, the COAS said that Pakistan desired that US/NATO forces must succeed and leave behind a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Earlier, upon arrival at the presidential palace, the army chief was presented a guard of honour. The foreign secretary, DG ISI, Pakistan’s ambassador in Afghanistan and other senior officials accompanied the COAS, while Afghan NSA and senior ministers including NDS joined the Afghan delegation.