Military

Pakistan’s General Bajwa talks to US CENTCOM Commander amid Pakistan debt crisis

During the call, General Bajwa and General Kurilla, discussed matters of mutual interests, regional stability as well as defence and security cooperation in detail

File image of Pakistan army General Qamar Javed Bajwa. AFP

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa held telephonic talks with the Commander of United States Central Command (US CENTCOM) General Michael Erik Kurilla on Saturday.

“Pakistan values its relations with the US and earnestly looks forward to enhance mutually beneficial multi-domain relations,” said General Bajwa.

During the call, General Bajwa and General Kurilla, discussed matters of mutual interests, regional stability as well as defence and security cooperation in detail, according to a statement by the Pakistan Army.

The Pakistan Army chief said that his country was looking forward to deepening ties with the US. “Pakistan values its relations with the US and we earnestly look forward to enhance mutually beneficial multi-domain relations based on common interests,” said General Bajwa.

The two army officials reiterated the desire to further enhance bilateral relations in all fields.

“The commander US CENTCOM acknowledged the professionalism of Pakistan Armed Forces and appreciated Pakistan’s role in regional stability and pledged to play his role for further improvement in cooperation with Pakistan at all levels,” Pakistan Army said.

Earlier this week, General Bajwa spoke over phone with the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and appealed to the White House and the US Treasury Department to push the IMF to immediately expedite the nearly USD 1.2 billion loan, state-run news agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reported, quoting sources in Pakistan Army.

However, the Foreign Office feigned ignorance if the two leaders talked about economy even as it confirmed that Bajwa and Sherman had a telephonic conversation.

The International Monetary Fund has already granted Pakistan staff-level approval for the USD 1.17 loan in question on 13 July, as the cash-strapped country faces the ignominy of a possible debt default due to its depleting foreign exchange reserves.

The Army chief’s appeal comes in the wake of separate meetings between senior civilian Pakistani and American officials in July, none of which managed to negotiate an early disbursement of funds.

With inputs from agencies

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