US, Pak defence teams agree to boost cooperation
ISLAMABAD: Defence strategists from the US and Pakistan agreed to strengthen the existing cooperation between the two countries to achieve the mutually agreed goals of peace, development and stability in the region at a two-day meeting, which concluded at the General Headquarters on Friday.
The 19th Defence Consultative Group (DCG) meeting was held in Rawalpindi from August 5 to 6. The Pakistani delegation was led by Secretary of Defence, Lt Gen (r) Syed Athar Ali, while the US delegation was headed by the Under Secretary of Defence for Policy, Michele A Flournoy. The DCG plenary session reviewed the Exchanges on Defence Planning (EDP), which took place in June and July 2010 and identified Pakistan’s immediate and long-term defence needs. Both sides emphasised the importance of such exchanges in defining the mutual opportunities and challenges associated with multi-year cooperation between Pakistan and the US, and the value of prioritising and integrating Pakistan’s security and defence capability requirements. The meeting decided to continue the EDP process.
The Pakistani side also gave a briefing on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. The US side acknowledged the extraordinary sacrifices given by the people and military of Pakistan in its efforts to defeat violent extremists. The Pakistani side also discussed the significant burden that increased military operations have placed on its forces and economy. The two sides also discussed prospects for peace and security in the region. The delegations also acknowledged the improvement in coordination of activities along the border with Afghanistan.
It also discussed ways to assist Pakistan in transitioning across the counterinsurgency phases of clear, hold, and build.