Pakistani and Afghan military officials will meet in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad this week to discuss the contentious issue of cross-border raids, officials said on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) rejected as incorrect a statement that the Pakistani military had notified Isaf 52 times that insurgents were crossing the Pak-Afghan border.
Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Janan Muszai said in Kabul that the deputy foreign minister, Jawed Ludin, and the Pakistani ambassador in Kabul, Muhammad Sadiq had agreed last week to explore ways to stop the attacks and to lower tension.
Ludin had told the Pakistani envoy that “continuation of such shelling against Afghan villages could have a significant negative impact on bilateral relations”, according to an Afghan foreign ministry statement.
A Pakistani military official has rejected any attack on Afghanistan from Pakistan’s territory and insisted that Pakistani Taliban based in eastern Afghanistan routinely launch attacks on border posts and villages.
During the last one year almost 15 cross-border attacks were carried out on Pakistani check-posts and civilian population in Dir and Chitral districts in which over 100 civilians and security personnel were killed.
Top military officials from the two countries would investigate the recent attacks, discuss coordination between the two militaries and find ways to prevent attacks on Afghan villages in the future, Musazai said.
Afghan Taliban reaction
The Afghan Taliban have also joined the Karzai government and Nato to criticise what they called Pakistan’s rocket attacks on Afghan territory, saying these strikes have killed and displaced a large number of civilians.
“These attacks have no legal justification. These are actions that are contrary to all Islamic and international laws and the principles and rights of good neighbourliness,” the Taliban said in a statement on Friday. They demanded Pakistan stop these attacks immediately.
Isaf rejects Pakistan’s assertion
Isaf said in Kabul on Sunday that the recent allegations that the Pakistani military has notified cross-border movement of insurgents 52 times.
“Whenever the Pakistani military has requested assistance, Isaf immediately dispatched the appropriate force to deal with the issue,” said an Isaf statement.
Isaf will continue to take every Pakistani military report of cross-border movement very seriously and will assist whenever and wherever possible, added the statement emailed to The Express Tribune.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2012.