Pak Army Chief, US commander discuss Afghan peace plan

Islamabad, July 21 : Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and United States top commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson held talks on cooperation between the two countries for the Afghan peace process. Commander of the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan Gen. Nicholson was on his routine visit to Pakistan during which he held discussions with the army chief on Wednesday over the management of Pak-Afghan border and prospects of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, reports the Dawn. It was General Nicholson's first visit to Pakistan since US President Barack Obama earlier this month, announced adjustments in the plan for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan leaving behind 8,400 troops through the end of this year and NATO renewed its pledge for continued support to Afghanistan. General Nicholson had welcomed President Obama's decision to slow down the withdrawal, saying it would send a message to the militants that violence is not the solution but reconciliation is. He believes that the move would also help improve regional security and benefit US counterterrorism efforts in the region. The Foreign Office, too, had hailed the NATO commitment, saying "efforts aimed at establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan" were welcome. "At the meeting, the two commanders discussed the way forward," a source said. The ISPR said in a statement that Gen Nicholson "lauded the role of Pakistan Armed Forces in breaking the nexus of terrorists and efforts for bringing peace in the region."