US defense secretary, Pak army chief discuss situation in Afghanistan

US defense secretary, Pak army chief discuss situation in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON: The top defense officials of the United States and Pakistan during a phone conversation discussed the ongoing situation in Afghanistan as well as regional security, Pentagon said in a statement on Monday.
This phone call comes amid a meeting of the extended troika of Russia, China and the United States along with Pakistan on an Afghan settlement.
“Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke by phone with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss our mutual goals of security and stability in the region,” Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby said.
“Secretary Austin and General Bajwa discussed the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, regional security and stability, and the bilateral defense relationship more broadly,” the statement added.
Several rights groups have reported grave human rights violations and war crimes in the territory held by the Taliban. At least 27 children have been killed and 136 injured over the past 72 hours as violence escalated in Afghanistan, the UNICEF said on Monday.
The UN agency said it is “shocked by the rapid escalation of rights violations against children” in Afghanistan.
Austin and Bajwa had last discussed the US drawdown from Afghanistan in April.

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