The head of the Pakistan Army met the head of Nato’s Afghan forces on Friday, in yet another sign that previously damaged ties between the military establishments of Pakistan and the US are healing.
General John Allen, Commander International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), met General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi to discuss measures to strengthen security at the Pak-Afghan border.
“The visiting dignitary remained with him for some time and discussed measures concerning coordination, communication and procedures between the Pakistan army, Isaf and the Afghan army, aimed at enhancing border control on both sides,” said a brief statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
A military official confirmed that the talks were focused on improving the level of cooperation and coordination between the Pakistani, American and Afghan forces operating on both sides of the border.
The sides are in fact working to bring back counter-terrorism cooperation to the level it was at prior to the Abbottabad raid conducted by US Navy SEALs which killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in early May.
The top secret operation severely strained relations between the key allies in the battle against militancy. However, the relationship has been gradually improving between the two countries since the high-level visit last month by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton was unusually accompanied by the US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the CIA to discuss the ‘blueprint’ for the Afghan endgame.
During the visit, Pakistan and the US agreed to take fresh measures on both sides of the Afghan border to stop movements of militants and cross border attacks.
“There has been considerable improvement on that front,” said the official requesting anonymity.
The visit of the top US commander comes just after the conclusion of counter-terrorism exercises between Pakistan and China. These were the biggest ever counter-terrorism exercises between the regional allies.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2011.
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