Pakistan army chief leaves for US on first official visit

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s army chief General Asim Munir on Sunday left for the US on his maiden official trip to the country, the military’s media affairs wing said. In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said this was Munir’s first visit to the US as the army chief.
“During his visit, Gen Munir is scheduled to meet senior military and other government officials of the USA,” the ISPR said.

Washington has worked closely with Pakistan’s army chiefs, arguably the most influential persons in the country, over the years on issues ranging from regional stability to fighting militancy, and Afghanistan.
Ties between the two countries had soured during former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tenure ahead of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in August 2021.

The strained relationship had further deteriorated when Khan claimed that Washington was behind his April 2022 ouster from office. Military-level engagements between the two countries, however, continued uninterrupted, despite all odds.
Earlier this year, the ISPR had to step in to quell reports that Gen Munir had made a secret trip to the US while on a visit to the UK. A former army officer had claimed in a tweet that the army chief’s aircraft went to the US on February 6 and landed at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport. The claim soon went viral, sparking speculation about the reasons behind the secret travel.

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