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Pakistani and Afghan commanders begin border security talks

By Xinhua in Islamabad | China Daily | Updated: 2015-01-27 07:52

Pakistani and Afghan commanders have begun talks on security issues, focusing on border management amid growing anti-terror cooperation, the Pakistani military said on Monday.

The commander of the Afghan Border Police, Lieutenant General Shafiq Fazli, is leading a 10-member delegation in talks with their Pakistani counterparts.

General Fazli and his team arrived in Pakistan for a five-day official visit on Sunday and they are due to visit some Pakistani military areas.

Afghan security officials arrived in Islamabad just days after two top Pakistani military commanders were in Afghanistan to discuss cooperation in effective border management.

The two countries share a porous border of nearly 2,500 kilometers with militants, who take advantage of the difficult terrain to cross over whenever security forces launch operations against them.

Kabul and Islamabad have decided to coordinate their efforts to frustrate militants attempting to enter the other country.

The Pakistani army is battling the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups in the North Waziristan tribal region, while Afghan forces are fighting Taliban forces in Dangam district in eastern Kunar province, which borders Pakistan.

Janan Mosazai, Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan, said on Saturday that Afghan forces have killed nearly 200 militants in Kunar. Pakistani officials said that Pakistani Taliban fighters are sheltering in Kunar and other Afghan border areas and are launching attacks from there.

In a sign of increased military cooperation, the Asian neighbors have decided to open two centers along the border to share intelligence and monitor the illegal cross-border movement of the Taliban and other militants.

The Dec 16 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, which killed 140 children and 10 staff members, has led to closer cooperation between the two countries in tackling the militant threat.

The Afghan Taliban have also carried out several deadly attacks in Kabul and other areas following the inauguration of President Ashraf Ghani in 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 stepped up their cooperation following the withdrawal of most foreign troops from Afghanistan and the end of NATO's combat mission to avoid instability.


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