ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif is set to visit the United States next week to hold talks with top officials on security issues including the stalled Afghan peace process, the military said Sunday.
The November 15-20 visit comes weeks after a trip by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“COAS will visit USA from 15-20 November. Will hold meetings with military and political leadership on wide ranging security issues,” military spokesman Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa announced on Twitter.
A senior Pakistani security official told media that the two sides would also discuss reconciliation in Afghanistan and Pakistan´s ongoing military operations against Taliban militants in its northwestern tribal areas.
General Sharif visited the US last year, where he met with Secretary of State John Kerry and was awarded the US Legion of Merit.
The government of Nawaz Sharif, who is not related to the general, is widely seen as having ceded more power to the military since Sharif was re-elected in 2013.
America´s relationship with Islamabad is a prickly one, born of an inter-dependency peppered with mutual mistrust. Ties were plunged into crisis when 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was discovered to be living in a major Pakistani garrison city.
But since Sharif returned to the prime minister´s office for his third term two years ago, both sides have made an effort to find areas of cooperation.