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Qamar Bajwa,US Secretary of Defence agreed on common goal of peace and stability in the region

10 February, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and United States Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis had a 20-minute telephonic conversation on Thursday, during which both the leaders agreed on continued engagement at multiple levels for the common goal of peace and stability in the region.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor, the army chief congratulated President Trump's new Pentagon chief on assumption of new responsibility and expressed the hope that his vast experience in the field would be of great value to the region. In a tweet, the ISPR DG said that Secretary Mattis commended the sacrifices and resilience of the people and the armed forces of Pakistan, and appreciated the role the Pakistan Army had played in battling the scourge of terrorism. Phone calls between defence officials are nothing new, but Mattis has played a remarkably diplomatic role in the early days of his tenure.

Mattis has a long list of tasks ahead, including devising a more aggressive campaign to combat the Islamic State and restoring military readiness after years of budget cuts. But a few weeks into his tenure, the retired general's most visible role has been of a different sort - soothing Americans and allies unnerved by the president and some of his top advisers.

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