WASHINGTON: The armed forces have distanced themselves from politics and want to stay away, says Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
COAS Bajwa made this major statement during his speech at a luncheon at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington.
He went on to say that restoring the ailing economy of Pakistan should be the priority of every stakeholder of society.
Without a strong economy, other nations will not be able to achieve their targets, the army chief said during an informal talk.
Shortly after his luncheon, the COAS met with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon Tuesday afternoon.
Both held talks on bilateral and regional issues. The army chief was also accorded an honor cordon by Secretary Austin. The army chief, who’s on a weeklong visit here, also separately called on US National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
“During calls matters of mutual interest, regional security situation and bilateral cooperation in various fields were discussed,” the Pakistan military media wing — Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) — said in a statement.
Gen Bajwa thanked US officials for their support and reiterated that “assistance from our global partners shall be vital for rescue/ rehabilitation of the flood victims in Pakistan,” according to the ISPR.
“Both sides agreed that Pakistan, US have long history of bilateral cooperation and shall continue improving through economic ties, trade and investment,” the statement added. The statement said that the army chief offered heartfelt condolences on the deaths and devastation caused by the hurricane in Florida. He said that Pakistan fully understands the loss and pain of victim families as Pakistan is suffering from similar effects of climate change.
“Both sides had convergence on major international issues, including Afghanistan, and need for cooperation to avoid humanitarian crisis and improving peace and stability in the region,” the statement concluded.