Islamabad: Afghanistan has agreed to target militants attacking Pakistan from alleged sanctuaries on its soil, in a significant move which suggests a thaw in their frayed ties and anti-terror cooperation between them.
Pakistan had demanded Afghanistan several times through official and unofficial channels to uproot the chief of outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mullah Fazlullah, hiding with dozens of supporters in Kunar province.
The assurance came from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during his talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif in his just-concluded maiden trip to Pakistan, officials familiar with the development told The Express Tribune.
A security official said there was a visible shift in Afghanistan?s approach since the new government took over in September this year.
"We have had very frank and candid discussions with the Afghan president and he agreed that terrorist sanctuaries will be dismantled on the Afghan side of the border," he disclosed.
The commitment was given after Ghani was briefed 'with evidence' that Pakistan's ongoing operation in North Waziristan was targeting 'terrorists of all shades', including the deadly Haqqani Network.
The paradigm shift is apparently attributed to Gen Sharif who, according to sources, has a clear stance on the war on terror unlike his predecessor.
Officials said the Afghan president welcomed Pakistan?s push against militants and made it clear that his administration would not allow any militant group, including those from the TTP, to find refuge on Afghan soil.
Pakistan has long been seeking decisive action against the TTP sanctuaries in the northeastern Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan.
In the past, Pakistan had even accused Afghan security agencies of supporting the TTP and its affiliates to further their interests.
However, with the change of government in Kabul, Islamabad is hoping that Afghan authorities would eliminate TTP "safe havens."
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained tense during former Afghan President Hamid Karzai's 13-year rule.
Karzai often accused Pakistan's security establishment of sheltering Afghan insurgents, a charge Islamabad strongly denies.
But unlike Karzai, his successor struck a reconciliatory note during his visit and avoided blame game.
The paper said a considerable progress has been achieved to evolve a new security mechanism under which security forces of the two countries would increase cooperation in the post-2014 scenario.