Pak and UK agree to jointly enhance Afghan forces' capacity



Islamabad: Pakistan and Britain on Friday agreed to work jointly to enhance the capacity of the Afghan security forces ahead of the drawdown of international troops and the presidential election in Afghanistan in 2014.

A meeting of the Pakistan-UK Defence Cooperation Forum, which concluded in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, agreed on a "common perspective and synergy of joint efforts" to support reconciliation in Afghanistan and build the capacity of the Afghan National Security Forces.

A joint statement issued after the meeting said the two sides would provide necessary assistance to ensure the success of the transition process leading up to the presidential election and drawdown of international forces in 2014.

The statement did not give details of the steps to be taken by both sides to enhance the capacity of Afghan forces.

Besides defence cooperation, the two sides discussed the situation in Afghanistan and several initiatives aimed at promoting peace and stability in the region.

At teh talks, the Pakistani side was led by Defence Secretary Asif Yasin Malik while the British delegation was headed by Permanent Under Secretary of State for Defence Jon Thompson.

The two sides also held two working sessions to discuss defence equipment and training.

They agreed to hold a mid-year review by autumn and the next meeting of the DCF in London in the first quarter of 2014.

PTI