Pakistani, Afghan commanders begin border security talks
Top Pakistani and Afghan commanders have opened talks on security issues, focusing on border management amid growing anti-terror cooperation, the military said Monday.
Islamabad: Top Pakistani and Afghan commanders have opened talks on security issues, focusing on border management amid growing anti-terror cooperation, the military said Monday.
Commander of the Afghan Border Police Shafiq Fazli is leading a 10-member delegation in talks with Pakistani counterparts.
Fazli, along with his deputy Sher Ali Shahryar and eight other border police officials, arrived in Pakistan for a five-day official visit Sunday.
"Issues related to border security will be discussed during the ABP delegation`s visit to Pakistan," Xinhua quoted a Pakistan army statement as saying. The Afghan security officials are also scheduled to visit some Pakistani military areas.
The Afghan security officials arrived in Islamabad just days after the visits of two top Pakistani military commanders to Afghanistan who had discussed cooperation between the security forces to effectively manage the border.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have nearly a 2,500-km porous border and militants routinely take advantage of the difficult terrain to cross the border whenever security forces of either country launch any operation against them on their respective side of the border.
Both countries have now decided to coordinate with the other if they start security operation on their side of the border to frustrate attempts by the militants to escape to the other side.
The Pakistani army is presently battling the Taliban and other militant groups in North Waziristan tribal region and Afghan forces are fighting the Taliban in Dangam district in eastern Kunar province, bordering Pakistan.
Afghanistan`s ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai said Saturday that Afghan forces have killed nearly 200 militants in Kunar. Pakistani officials said Pakistani Taliban fighters have taken shelter in Kunar and other Afghan border areas and launch attacks from there.
The Afghan authorities also complain that Afghan Taliban also cross into Pakistan whenever they start action against them.
In a sign of growing military-to-military cooperation, the two neighbours have now decided to open two coordination centres along the border to share intelligence and closely monitor the illegal cross-border movement of the Taliban and other militants.
The savage Dec 16 attack by Taliban bombers at the Army Public School in Peshawar in which over 140 students and teachers were massacred has led to closer cooperation between the two countries on tackling terrorist threats.
The Afghan Taliban have also carried out several deadly attacks in Kabul and other areas following the inauguration of President Ashraf Ghani late September. They launched a major offensive in Kunar`s Dangam district last month. Dangam borders Pakistan`s northwestern Dir district.
The two countries have also increased cooperation following the withdrawal of most of the foreign troops from Afghanistan and end to the NATO combat mission to avoid any instability.