This phone call comes in the middle of a meeting of the enlarged troika of Russia, China and the United States together with Pakistan on an Afghan deal.
“Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke by phone with the Chief of Staff of the Pakistani Army, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, to discuss our mutual goals of security and stability in the region,” said the Defense Department press secretary, John Kirby.
“Secretary Austin and General Bajwa discussed the current situation in Afghanistan, regional security and stability and the bilateral defense relationship more broadly,” the statement added.
Several human rights groups have reported serious human rights violations and war crimes in the territory held by the Taliban. At least 27 children have died and 136 have been injured in the last 72 hours due to the escalation of violence in Afghanistan, UNICEF said on Monday.
The UN agency said it is “shocked by the rapid escalation of rights violations against children” in Afghanistan.
Austin and Bajwa had last discussed the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in April.