- Burns appreciates Pakistan's role in the Afghan situation, including successful evacuation operations and efforts for regional stability
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa met Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Burns to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated on Thursday.
Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed was also present in the meeting, the military's media wing added.
Both discussed matters of mutual interest and issues pertaining to regional security. Bajwa apprised the CIA chief of Pakistan's commitment to cooperate with its international partners for peace in the region and ensuring a stable and prosperous future for the Afghan people.
On the occasion, the CIA chief appreciated Pakistan’s role in the Afghan situation, including successful evacuation operations, efforts for regional stability, and pledged to play their role for further improvement in diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan at all levels.
The CIA director's visit to Pakistan comes at a time when the Taliban leadership announced the formation of a caretaker setup in Afghanistan just days ago. The situation in the war-torn country has been complex and difficult after the Taliban takeover and withdrawal of US forces last month.
Burns has also visited India recently, and met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Indian media reported. The meeting took place on Wednesday in which India's concerns over the developments in Afghanistan were discussed.
DG ISI's Kabul visit
On September 5, DG ISI Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed visited Kabul to meet the Taliban leadership and other Afghan leaders. It was the first visit by a senior Pakistani official since the Afghan capital fell to the Taliban.
The DG ISI had said the purpose of his visit was to seek peace and stability in Afghanistan. He added that his visit was aimed to get a first-hand account of the ground situation.
It was reported that one of the objectives of Hameed's visit was to discuss the arrangements and mechanism for the safe passage of foreign nationals, who are still stranded in Afghanistan.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that the visit of ISI chief to Kabul was necessary as it was the only framework to communicate in the absence of a formal government.
In an interview with BBC World, Fawad said that Lt General Hameed is not the first intelligence chief to visit Kabul, saying that the CIA, Turkish and Qatari intelligence chiefs were also in the Afghanistan capital before him. "In the absence of any formal government, such unconventional contacts are necessary for discussion on various issues," he said.
He further said that Pakistan has some deep issues with Afghanistan including the expansion of Daesh as well as the issue of TTP and the refugees.
On Wednesday, addressing the first ministerial meeting of Afghanistan's neighbors, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi termed the Afghan Taliban a new reality. He said that Pakistan had no other option but to work with the neighboring country.
He stated that even though the situation in the war-torn country is complex and fluid, its new reality required the world to proceed with a realistic approach. He said that at the center of the endeavors must remain the well-being of the Afghan people, who have suffered enormously due to conflict for over 40 years.