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Pakistan army chief offers training to Afghan security forces

IANS 06 Nov 2014, 23:47:01 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif Thursday met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and senior defence officials in Kabul and offered training to the Afghan military personnel.

The visit of the Pakistan army chief was seen as important in view of the massive withdrawal of the foreign troops in two months. Pakistan's cooperation in the post-NATO Afghanistan will be a key to the peace and reconciliation with the Afghan Taliban.

"General Raheel Sharif offered full range of training courses and facilities in Pakistan's training institutions to Afghan security forces," Xinhua quoted the army as saying at the conclusion of the day-long visit.

General Raheel Sharif also held separate meetings with National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar, Afghan Defence Minister General Bismillah Muhammadi, and Afghan Chief of General Staff, General Sher Muhammad Karimi, a military statement said.

"The chief of the army staff also offered capacity enhancement of an infantry brigade, including provision of equipment," it said.

He reiterated that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan's best interest and the only way to ensure regional security was to treat terrorism as the common enemy of both countries.

Later, during his meetings with the Afghan defence minister and chief of general staff Afghan military officials briefed the Pakistani delegation over the latest security situation in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, the transfer of security responsibility to Afghan National Security Forces in the wake of US, ISAF drawdown and enhanced bilateralism between Pakistan and Afghanistan with particular emphasis on Pak-Afghan border coordination mechanism, intelligence sharing and transparency were deliberated upon.

"Matters to enhance bilateral military-to-military relations were discussed during the meeting," the army said.

General Raheel Sharif 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.