A provincial Afghan police chief known for his aggressive posturing towards Pakistan surprised many on Saturday when he said “Islamabad is sincerely cooperating” with Kabul to fight terrorism.
As recently as last month, General Abdul Raziq, the police chief in the southern Kandahar province, said that he had ordered his forces to target the Taliban militants on the Pakistani side of the border.
But in a surprising turnabout, Gen Raziq on Saturday praised Pakistan’s cooperation in the fight against Taliban militancy. He told reporters in Kandahar that he has recently met senior Pakistani military officials at the Kandahar airport and discussed ways to ‘eliminate terrorism’.
“I’m confident that Pakistan now truly wants to cooperate with the Afghan government to root out terrorism,” Gen Raziq said, according to the Kandahar Media and Information Centre. Raziq’s comments were also posted online.
He said it was the first meeting between Pakistani and Afghan security officials in Kandahar in four years. “Afghanistan will hold more such meetings with Pakistan,” he added. The Kandahar police chief’s remarks came amid growing cooperation between security officials of the two uneasy neighbours in recent months.
Lt Gen Nasir Khan Janjua, Commander Southern Command and Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Hidaytur Rehman visited Afghanistan this week and met their Afghan counterparts across the border, the army says.
Both sides discussed “matters related to border security coordination and ways and means to further enhance the existing mechanism”.
“These visits are aimed at enhancing the ongoing Pak-Afghan cooperation and will help boost confidence between the armies of the two countries,” the Inter-Services Public Relations said after the visits.
Last month, Afghan army chief General Sher Muhammad Karimi visited Pakistan and met his Pakistani counterpart General Raheel Sharif in Rawalpindi. During the meeting the two sides had agreed that their commanders would begin meetings immediately to further coordinate cross-border security operations.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2015.