Washington, 3 October 2022 (TDI): The Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa has started his trip to the United States. The Army Chief will stay in the country for 5 days.
During this time period, he is set to meet senior officials of the Biden administration. This week-long visit by the Army Chief stands as yet another sign of stepped-up efforts by both sides to improve their fraught and complex relations.
Meeting with UN Military Advisor:
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) called on General Birame Diop (Senegal), United Nations (UN) Military Advisor to Secretary-General on Sunday.
During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, and overall regional security were discussed. Moreover, the COAS highlighted the flood situation in Pakistan.
He appreciated the role of the office of the UN Military Advisor in promoting UN core values and response during crises.
Due to heavy monsoon rains, Pakistan has faced great destruction on its lands owing to the floods. To aid Pakistan, international organizations and states sent humanitarian aid. However, the country is still facing severe impacts from the floods caused as a result of climate change.
Correspondingly, the UN Military Advisor expressed his grief over the devastation caused by ongoing floods in Pakistan. He offered his sincere condolence to the families of the victims.
Moreover, the Advisor acknowledged Pakistan’s contribution to UN peacekeeping Missions. In conclusion, he affirmed to support Pakistan overcome the impacts of the climate crisis.
Schedule of the Meeting
The COAS will hold diplomatic meetings with members of various think tanks and other scholars interested in Pakistan affairs.
Moreover, COAS Qamar Bajwa will visit the Pentagon and Langley, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The Army Chief will also meet Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Intelligence Director Avril D. Haines, and CIA Director William J. Burns. While the news of his meeting with the US Secretary of the State, Antony Blinken is not confirmed yet the meeting still stands on the agenda of his scheduled meetings in the US.
General Bajwa landed at LaGuardia in New York on Friday. He flew from London on his official plane along with his senior aides. Correspondingly, he arrived in Washington over the weekend.
His trip to the US was long overdue. In the last years, it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and later on due to the start of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Thus, his last official trip to the US took place in 2019. At the time, he accompanied the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan on his three-day trip to Washington.
Therefore, even though the Army chief kept in close contact with the US officials over the past years, still this makes his first trip after the pandemic.