COAS pushes for peace in Afghanistan

-Arrives in Kabul for a day-long visit
-Meets Afghan leadership
-Emphasizes on Afghan peace process
-Ghani acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts for peace 
-This visit comes at a time of heightened uncertainty for the region as
violence rises while the US withdraws troops

KABUL: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Jawed Bajwa on Monday has held a meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani where they discussed matters of mutual interest and current developments in the Afghan peace process.
Agencies add: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Kabul on Monday to hold talks with Afghan officials, according to Afghan media reports. The Afghan peace process and Washington’s plans to pull out all US troops will likely come under discussion.
Washington announced plans last month to pull out all US troops by Sept. 11, with Afghan officials saying the Taliban stepped up attacks across the country following the announcement.
On Saturday, bombings outside a school in the western part of the Afghan capital, Kabul, killed at least 68, most of them students, and injured more than 165 others.
Moreover, it was not immediately clear what would be discussed during the meeting. Pakistan is regarded as a key player in the Afghan peace process.
In the past, Islamabad has been accused of harbouring Taliban leaders but in recent years, Washington and other Western powers have acknowledged its efforts to push the militant group to take part in peace talks.
Bajwa on Monday also met Britain’s Chief of Defence Staff General Nicholas Patrick Carter for talks on Afghan peacemaking, according to a statement from ISPR. The venue of the meeting was not given.
“Measures to further enhance bilateral and defence cooperation were also discussed in the meeting,” the statement said.
In recent weeks, Taliban and diplomatic sources told, Pakistan has been negotiating with insurgents to try and get them to commit to a ceasefire, agree to an extension of the US-Taliban agreement which stipulated forces should withdraw by May, and to continue to take part in peace talks at a planned conference in Turkey.
Violence has risen starkly in Afghanistan in recent weeks with the Taliban launching attacks throughout the country and a huge unclaimed attack taking place on a school in Kabul on Saturday that killed dozens of students. The Taliban announced on Sunday night that they would commit to a three-day ceasefire for the holiday of Eidul Fitr later this week.–ISPR