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Press Release | Dec. 16, 2022

READOUT: US Central Command Commander Engages with Pakistani Leadership


Dec. 16, 2022

Release Number 20221216-12


ISLAMABAD – On Dec. 14, General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, CENTCOM commander, visited Pakistan to meet with senior military leaders, observe conditions and operations along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border vicinity the Khyber Pass, and discuss opportunities to strengthen the military-to-military relationship between CENTCOM and the Pakistan Armed Forces.

Leadership Engagements

At the Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, General Kurilla met with senior Pakistani leaders, to include General Syed Asim Munir, who assumed command as Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff on November 29th, and Pakistan’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Sahir Shamshad Mirza. General Kurilla and General Munir, who know each other from General Kurilla’s previous service in the CENTCOM region, committed to strengthening relations between their forces on behalf of regional stability.

The leaders discussed security cooperation, security along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the threat posed by terror groups in the region, ongoing operations, and opportunities to increase cooperation between CENTCOM and the Pakistan Army.

Paying Tribute to Fallen Pakistani Troops

General Kurilla also participated in a wreath laying ceremony in honor of Pakistani troops killed in combat.

Pakistan/Afghanistan Border Visit

During the visit, General Kurilla traveled to Peshawar to visit the XI Corps headquarters. The XI Corps is the Pakistani Army unit assigned the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, with security responsibility for approximately half the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. General Kurilla and XI Corps leaders traveled by helicopter to visit the Big Ben post overlooking the Khyber Pass. There, they observed border security and discussed the cross-border threat of terror groups operating in Afghanistan.

Valuable Insights

The visit provided General Kurilla valuable insight into multiple aspects of the Pakistan Armed Forces, the threats faced by Pakistan, and, most importantly, the opportunities ahead to strengthen the military-to-military relationship.

“Pakistan and the US have longstanding defense ties dating back 75 years,” Kurilla said. “We remain committed to combating shared threats to regional security. CENTCOM views the US-Pakistan relationship through its own bilateral merits and its potential to improve stability across the region. We are committed to strengthening the military-to-military relationship.”

This was General Kurilla’s second visit to Pakistan in the last four months.