US Defence Secretary Llyod J Austin
US Defence Secretary Llyod J Austin

US defence secretary discusses Afghan situation with Pak Army chief

ANI | Updated: Aug 10, 2021 23:04 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 10 (ANI): US Defence Secretary Llyod J Austin had a telephonic conversation with Pakistan Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed the ongoing situation in Afghanistan where Taliban and Afghan forces are engaged in violent clashes.

According to a statement by Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby, Austin spoke by phone with Bajwa to discuss our mutual goals of security and stability in the region.

"Secretary Austin and General Bajwa discussed the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, regional security and stability, and the bilateral defence relationship more broadly," the statement read. 

The call comes at a time when ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan has deteriorated due to the former's overt and covert support to the Taliban. Afghanistan officials have accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to the terrorists. 

During a press briefing, Kirby on Monday said that the US has said that Pakistani safe heavens are helping terrorists in the war-ravaged Afghanistan. He added that the US is in talks with Islamabad asking them to close those safe heavens located at the country's border area with Afghanistan.

The new wave of deadly clashes by Taliban terrorists started in Afghanistan last month. With US and NATO forces announcing that they are withdrawing from the country, the Taliban began an assault on major cities and seized control of several cities.

Taliban have also attacked civilians and imposed regressive and barbaric rules in the provinces that fell to them.

In less than a week, the Taliban captured seven out of 34 provincial capitals in the country. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday said that violence against Afghan civilians by Taliban fighters "could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity". (ANI)