ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Rajaz Pervez Ashraf will visit Afghanistan on Thursday for talks with the Afghan president, with cross-border attacks by militants high on the agenda, officials with knowledge of the matter said.
“The Prime Minister is visiting Kabul tomorrow where he will hold talks with President Hamid Karzai on issues related to peace and security in the region,” a senior government official told AFP about the one day tour.
Ashraf, making his first trip to Kabul as prime minister, will raise the issue of attacks launched on Pakistani soil from across the border and press for increased security measures to prevent such incursions in future, he said.
There has been a spurt in cross-border attacks in the past month, raising questions about whether Pakistani Taliban have regrouped in Afghanistan since escaping an army offensive three years ago.
On Wednesday, word was received that security forces in lower Chitral had rebuffed a cross-border attack. On June 27 the Taliban released a video showing severed heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers who they said were killed in a cross-border attack on a check post in the northwestern district of Upper Dir three days earlier.
Afghanistan shares a disputed and unmarked 2,400-kilometre (1,500-mile) border with Pakistan, and Taliban and other al Qaeda-linked militants have carved out strongholds on either side.
Afghanistan and Pakistan blame each other for a number of recent cross-border attacks that have killed dozens and displaced hundreds of families.
On Wednesday security officials said troops killed six militants as they tried to cross from Afghanistan in the northwestern district of Chitral.
Another government official confirmed the visit by Ashraf.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said that “Pakistan wants a peaceful Afghanistan which is vital for overall peace and stability in the region.”
In a media talk on Wednesday‚ she said that Pakistan is only interested in a stable Afghanistan and does not want any role in that country. She added that Pakistan has always worked for peace in that country and will continue its efforts along the same lines in the future also.