Pak moves additional troops along Afghan border

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 15:51

Islamabad: Pakistan has deployed additional
Army and paramilitary troops along its border with Afghanistan
in the wake of a new push by Afghan and NATO forces against
the Haqqani network that is based in the restive North
Waziristan tribal region.

Regular army and Frontier Corps troops have been sent to
areas along the border with Afghanistan to stop militant
attacks, chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said.

Pakistan will not allow militants to carry out attacks on
its check posts and border villages and kill civilians, he
added.

Abbas said the additional forces were sent after NATO and
Afghan forces failed to act on Pakistan`s call for action
against militants responsible for cross-border attacks.

About 100 Pakistani security personnel have died in
cross-border attacks by Afghanistan-based militants during the
past four months, Abbas told Radio Pakistan.

The International Security Assistance Force was informed
about these attacks and the location of militant hideouts in
Afghanistan was pointed out but no action had been taken so
far, he said.

Apparently there is no presence of the Afghan army or ISAF
forces in the "vast area" from where militants were operating
against Pakistan, he said.

The Dir region in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province was hit
hardest by the cross-border attacks and terrorists who fled
the Swat valley to escape a Pakistani military offensive were
involved in these attacks, Abbas said.

The militants were launching these attacks from Afghan
territory so that they could return to Swat via Dir, Abbas
contended, adding all check posts along the Afghan border have
been strengthened and the number of posts in Dir increased.

Abbas claimed the militants had safe havens in the Kunar,
Nuristan and Ningarhar provinces of Afghanistan, where "there
are no security forces".

"It seems the militants are being supported locally and
operating freely," but added that Pakistan cannot launch any
operation across the Afghan border.

"Pakistan took up the issue with the Afghan Army personnel
and ISAF, but we did not see any effective operation in that
area," he said.

Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said in Kabul
yesterday that "Operation Knife Edge" had been launched to
"deliver a crashing blow to enemy`s capabilities to conduct
operations especially terrorist operations during the winter".

Afghan army chief Sher Mohammad Karimi said the operation
was being conducted along the border because the "enemy lately
operates along the border on both sides". Other Afghan
officials said it was "largely against the Haqqani network".

NATO spokesman Capt Justin Brockhoff confirmed "enhanced
official operations" were being conducted "to reduce the
select insurgent network" in an eastern region that borders
Pakistan.

"These networks are directly responsible for recent
attacks against the people of Afghanistan and coalition
forces," said Brockhoff.

The US has accused the Haqqani network of being behind a
19-hour siege of the US embassy in Kabul, a September truck
bombing on a NATO outpost that injured 77 Americans and a June
attack on Kabul`s Inter Continental Hotel.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 15:51

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