Visible change in Pakistan-Afghanistan foreign policies: Daily

There has been "a visible change in Afghanistan`s foreign policy towards Pakistan" since President Ashraf Ghani came to power and visits by him and Pakistan`s military and intelligence officials bridged the trust deficit, a daily said here Monday.

IANS| Updated: Feb 09, 2015, 22:05 PM IST

Islamabad: There has been "a visible change in Afghanistan`s foreign policy towards Pakistan" since President Ashraf Ghani came to power and visits by him and Pakistan`s military and intelligence officials bridged the trust deficit, a daily said here Monday.

According to the Daily Times, a breakthrough in Pakistani government`s approach towards militants occurred following the attack Dec 16 last year on a Peshawar Army Public School.

"The gruesome killing of school children prompted Pakistan`s civil and military high-ups to adopt a clear stance regarding the elimination of all terrorists without any discrimination between `good` and `bad` Taliban," the daily said in an editorial.

"A thaw in relations also came due to the end of the blame game" that was the hallmark of Hamid Karzai`s nearly 13-year rule (in Afghanistan).

The recent arrival of six Afghan soldiers in Islamabad "to receive military training" is a sign that "sincere efforts are being made from both sides" to strengthen cooperation against militancy, it said.

President Ghani, while visiting Pakistan in November 2014, pledged to build stronger ties with Islamabad and stressed joint action against insurgents in both countries.

Pakistan was given an assurance "that action would be taken against Mullah Fazlullah (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief who has threatened to go after government leaders and senior members of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s party PML-N) in Afghanistan".

Afghan forces have launched an offensive against Mullah Fazlullah and killed many insurgents.

"On its part, Islamabad has understood that a stable Afghanistan is in its own interest and efforts should be made for bringing peace in Kabul while targeting all terrorist outfits including the Haqqani Network," the daily said.

The daily pointed out that after the US troops pullout from Afghanistan, "Kabul will ultimately depend on its relations with Islamabad".

"The two uneasy neighbours have also decided to open coordination centres to share intelligence and closely monitor the illegal cross-border movement of the Taliban and other militants.

The daily points out that though both countries` leadership is clear in its stance over bilateral cooperation and terrorists` elimination, "yet it is a big challenge for both the states".

"The mess of 40 years could not be cleared in just a few days; rather it would take time to bridge the trust deficit and break the networks of the militants," the daily added.