US defense secretary phones Gen Qamar Bajwa

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin Wednesday spoke to Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss the two countries’ mutual goals of security in the region. 

Austin’s call to the Pakistan Army chief comes in the backdrop of lightening gains made by the Taliban in Afghanistan, where they have managed to capture more than six provincial capitals in the last week.

“During the call, Secretary Austin expressed his interest in continuing to improve the U.S. – Pakistan relationship and build upon our multiple shared interests in the region,” read a handout issued by the US Department of Defence. 

“Secretary Austin and General Bajwa discussed the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, regional security and stability, and the bilateral defence relationship more broadly,” it added.