Afghan president demands action from Pakistan against Taliban

Kabul, (IANS) Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has demanded tough action from Pakistan against Taliban militants amid deteriorating security situation along the Afghan-Pakistan border, media reports said.

In a letter seeking greater anti-terrorism cooperation, President Ghani on Sunday asked Islamabad’s civilian government and military leadership to condemn Taliban’s so-called spring offensive, Khaama press reported.

In late April, the Taliban militant group announced the start of its annual offensive against Afghan forces and the US-led foreign troops and launched a new wave of attacks across the war-ravaged country.

The Afghan president also reiterated Kabul’s longstanding demand that Pakistan deny the militants sanctuary and hideouts on its side of the border.

The letter also called on Islamabad’s law enforcement agencies to detain members of the Pakistani-based Taliban-allied Haqqani network “responsible for recent terror campaign in Afghanistan.”

The developments come as the spy agencies of the two neighbouring countries earlier this month agreed to share intelligence and boost cooperation in their fight against the terrorism.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Afghanistan in early May to hold talks on ways to reinforce cooperation between the two neighbours in the battle against militants on both sides of the border.

Tensions and distrust between the two neighbours have escalated in recent years. Senior Afghan officials have frequently blamed elements within Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for harbouring Taliban militants, who have waged a 13-year war against Afghan and foreign forces in the country.

This was while Islamabad blames Kabul for giving refuge to militants on its side of the border.

Under the pretext of the so-called war on terror, the US and its NATO allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001. However, Afghanistan continues to reel from insecurity and instability several years after the US-led campaign ousted the Taliban militants.

The violence and militancy has also spilled over into Pakistan.

The US announced an end to its combat mission in Afghanistan on December 31, 2014, but at least 13,500 foreign troops, mainly Americans, have remained in the country.

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