US Defence Secy discusses Afghanistan drawdown with Pak Army Chief

ANI
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   US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa

Washington DC [US], April 28 (ANI): US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday in a phone call to discuss the drawdown of US activity in neighboring Afghanistan.

"During the call, Secretary Austin reaffirmed the importance of the US-Pakistan bilateral relationship and expressed appreciation for Pakistan's support for Afghanistan Peace negotiations. Secretary Austin and General Bajwa also discussed the drawdown in Afghanistan," a Pentagon press release said.

Meanwhile, the US officials asked the non-essential embassy staff to leave Kabul, citing increased threats. "On April 27, 2021, the Department ordered the departure from US Embassy Kabul of US government employees whose functions can be performed elsewhere," the US advisory said.

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden announced the decision to withdraw troops from the country starting on that May 1 deadline, with the aim of completely withdrawing from Afghanistan by September 11.

As the United States is set to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, US lawmakers fear the fate of Afghan women.

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Tuesday testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on US policy in Afghanistan where US lawmakers questioned him on Washington's withdrawal from the war-torn country, Tolo News reported.

"How we withdraw and what political arrangement is left in our wake matters deeply," said US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez.

"If the Taliban were to come back to power, the reality for Afghanistan's women and girls, I think, would be devastating," he added. (ANI)