ISAF rebukes Pakistan over cross-border attacks
New York: The US-led security coalition in Afghanistan has taken strong exception to a claim by Pakistan that it has done little to stop militants from using Afghan territory as a springboard for attacks on its forces.
Pakistan`s military says it has notified the NATO-led force in Afghanistan 52 times about cross-border movement from Pakistan into Afghanistan by militants, without any response from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
"Recent allegations that the Pakistani military has notified the International Security Assistance Force 52 times that insurgent elements were crossing the Afghan-Pakistan border are incorrect," the ISAF said in a statement.
"Whenever the Pakistani military has requested assistance, ISAF immediately dispatched the appropriate force to deal with the issue," it added.
The statement, reported in the New York Times, came a day after Pakistan`s Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman said Pakistan has provided to American and NATO commanders in Afghanistan on 52 different occasions in the last eight the locations from which the militants were attacking but the information exchange has been to no avail.
The Times report said Pakistan has been increasingly trying to draw parallel between Afghan Taliban havens in the country and the presence of Pakistan Taliban factions in Kunar and Nuristan Provinces in northeastern Afghanistan.
Following the comparison, "the coalition pushed back unequivocally. .. Offering a reminder of the fraught relationship that the United States and Pakistan are struggling to improve."
While the coalition did not say how many times Pakistan had requested and received assistance, American officials said the number was far fewer than 52.
The coalition statement noted that the two sides "shared interests" and then cited the need to move against the Haqqani network as an example.
"The Pakistani military`s unwillingness to move against the Haqqanis is one of the main reasons that American officials have been so rankled by Pakistan’s newfound eagerness to say it suffers equally from cross-border attacks," the report said.
Responding to the coalition statement, Rehman said, "There is no question of doubting the commitment on fighting terrorists from both sides."
She added that, "We have a critical problem of anti-Pakistan terrorist sanctuaries in Kunar and Nuristan. And we have communicated this at every level and at every opportunity."
A second Pakistani official termed cross-border attacks from Afghanistan as becoming increasingly brazen adding that Pakistan had, on numerous occasions in the past 18 months, passed along geographic coordinates from where it believed the attacks originated.
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