US Defence chief for improved Pak ties

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Monitoring Report

WASHINGTON: United States (US) Secretary Defence Lloyd Austin on Tuesday telephoned Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss Afghanistan and mutual goals of security and stability in the region.

According to the details of the conversation shared by the US defence secretary on Twitter, Secretary Austin expressed his interest in continuing to improve the relationship between the US and Pakistan, build upon the multiple shared interests in the region.

Secretary Lloyd Austin and COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa also discussed the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, regional security and stability and the bilateral defense relationship more broadly.

Earlier in the day, the United States said it was up to Afghan security forces to defend the country after Taliban captured a sixth provincial capital on Monday, along with border towns and trade routes.

President Joe Biden has said the US military mission in Afghanistan will end on Aug. 31, arguing that the Afghan people must decide their own future and that he would not consign another generation of Americans to the 20-year war.

US envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has left for Qatar where he will “press the Taliban to stop their military offensive and to negotiate a political settlement,” the State Department said on Monday.