US says its working with Pakistan, Afghanistan to curb border violence

Pentagon spokesperson George Little says border cooperation with Pakistan is improving.

July 25, 2012

WASHINGTON: As relations with United States settle back into normal phase of cooperation after months of strain, Washington is now going to focus more on working with Islamabad and Kabul to contain militant activities along the porous Durand Line.  

"Well, we're working closely with both countries, obviously, to try to limit violence along the Afghan-Pakistan border," a Pentagon spokesperson said, amid weeks of complaining from both sides about cross-border attacks along the disputed Pak-Afghan border.

Pakistan has asked Kabul to act against safe havens of militants in its eastern Kunar and Nooristan provinces, in the backdrop of more than a dozen deadly cross-border assaults that have killed over 100 people, including civilians and soldiers.

Reports say Mullah Fazlullah and other militants, who fled the army's counter terrorism operations in Swat and Bajaur, have found refuge across the border in Afghanistan.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said,"we are settling back into a normal phase of cooperation with our Pakistani partners. And border coordination, we believe, is improving."

Last week, the ISAF commander in Afghanistan General John Allen said that his forces were ready to act on the Afghan side of the border if Pakistan reciprocates on its side of the Durand Line against militant safe havens.

Answering a question, Little saw no change in the US-led allies' Afghan mission.

"In our estimation, I'm not sure there's any particular change to the mission in Afghanistan. We're carrying out the mission as we've designed," he said.

"We're moving quickly and prudently toward implementation of the improvement of Afghan national security force capabilities. And, of course, we're following the Lisbon timeline toward the end of 2014," he added referring to the deadline set by Nato for transferring full security responsibility to Afghans and end the combat mission in Afghanistan.