Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat arrived in Washington on Monday to attend an international conference on countering violent extremist organisations.
In Washington’s diplomatic circles, it is seen as a positive development, indicating the US military’s desire to stay engaged with their Pakistani counterparts despite political disagreements between the two countries.
Although a multilateral event, the conference also provides opportunities to the delegations to hold separates meetings on the sidelines.
Pakistan’s participation in the conference dispels the impression that the country is facing a growing isolation in the international community because of its differences with the United States over Afghanistan.
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, hosts this annual event, known as the Chiefs of Defence conference.
This two-day event would be the third Joint Staff-sponsored conference on counter-terrorism and is expected to be the largest to date. The first meeting was held on Oct 16, 2016, at Joint Base Andrews, Md, while the second was held at Fort Belvoir, VA. Both bases are close to the US capital.
Approximately 40 chiefs of defence attended the first conference while more than 70 participated in the second.
“This conference was a success in that we were able to gather more than 70 chiefs of defence from around the world for open, frank discussion on a range of topics related to violent extremism and the transregional threat it poses,” said Gen Dunford while addressing the second meeting. “Their participation was a clear indication of the international community’s commitment to countering the influence and impact violent extremism can have on the world.”
The main purpose of this event is to promote “unity of effort as well as for improved cooperation and collaboration to counter violent extremism”, Gen Dunford said.