United against terrorism: Islamabad, Kabul vow border coordination

Top military leaders pledge to swap intelligence on militants, their hideouts.

Kamran Yousaf/Our Correspondent December 23, 2014


Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, his Afghan counterpart General Sher Muhammad Karimi and International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) Commander General John F Campbell vowed to eliminate militants from both sides of the border with coordinated attacks and swap intelligence reports to destroy their hideouts.

These were discussed during a trilateral meeting when Afghan army chief and Isaf commander called on Gen Raheel at the General Headquarters Rawalpindi on Tuesday.

A day after Afghan National Army launched an operation against sanctuaries of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on its soil, Muhammad Karimi and John F Campbell informed Raheel Sharif that they were closing in on the most wanted fugitive militant commander Mullah Fazlullah, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The unprecedented high-level meeting came against the backdrop of the recent Peshawar carnage that prompted Gen Raheel to rush to Kabul last week in an effort to seek a decisive push against the TTP hideouts in Kunar and Nuristan provinces.

The army chief was able to secure a crucial promise both from Afghanistan and Isaf for eliminating the TTP terror infrastructure after he shared “vital intelligence” linking the Peshawar school massacre with the militant network hiding on Afghan soil.

A senior military official told The Express Tribune that both the neighbours reached an understanding that they would carry out coordinated attacks on their respective soils to deny militants any space for carrying out terrorist attacks.

“They (Afghanistan) will carry out an operation on their side without any discrimination while we are already doing the same in our territory,” said the official, while requesting not to be named.

A statement issued by the army’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said General Raheel appreciated recently commenced operations by Afghan forces against the TTP in areas close to Pak-Afghan border.

The army chief vowed to extend full support to the visiting Afghan army chief and Isaf commander in all spheres, including coordinated operations in respective areas by both sides and sharing of intelligence.

The meeting discussed overall security situation in the region, matters relating to coordination on the Pak-Afghan border and protocols put in place to improve border control.

The Afghan army chief and Isaf commander expressed grief over the tragic attack on a Peshawar school.  Both the leaders assured their full support in fight against terrorism and eliminating terrorists on Afghan soil.

‘Positive dialogue’

Isaf troops welcomed what it called “positive dialogue” between Pakistan and Afghanistan shortly after military chiefs of the two countries met in Rawalpindi and agreed on enhanced cooperation.

“General Campbell expressed his appreciation of the positive dialogue and his hope that today’s agreements will help develop a long-lasting security foundation necessary to promote peace and prosperity for both countries,” the Isaf said in Kabul. Gen Raheel and Gen Karimi agreed that their subordinate commanders will begin meeting immediately to further coordinate border area security operations, said a statement.

Gen. Campbell emphasised that the international coalition remains committed to working with Pakistan and Afghanistan on these issues, and others, on the basis of mutual interest and respect.

At least 151 Taliban have been killed by Afghan government forces during 12 days of fighting in the volatile east, near the border with Pakistan, the police chief of Kunar province was cited by The Associated Press as saying.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2014.


Realist | 9 years ago | Reply

I give this coalition of the willing three weeks, before it falls apart.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ