Pakistan, Afghan armies agree on better border coordination

Islamabad, Jan 31 (IANS) Pakistan and Afghan military commanders agreed on Saturday on better coordination and enhancing security measures at both sides of the border, officials said.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have neatly 2,600 kms border, mostly porous, and the militants take advantage of the inaccessible and difficult terrain to move across the border, according to Xinhua.

Pakistan has long been seeking Afghanistan’s help for better border coordination to check the illegal crossings. Both sides had earlier agreed on the establishment of bilateral border coordination centres at Torkham and Chaman border points. However, the centres have not yet been set up.

As the military-to-military contacts have grown in recent days, an eight-member delegation of Afghan National Army headed by Corps Commander Lieutenant General Mohammad Sharif Yaftali held talks with Pakistani counterparts in Peshawar and discussed cooperation, focusing on border coordination.

The visit of Afghan National Army delegation is follow up of the Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif’s visit to Afghanistan last month in which it was decided that Corps Commanders from respective sides will hold meetings for better border management.

The delegates discussed matters pertaining to mutual interest and security arrangements at Pak-Afghan border, a statement from the army’s Inter-Services Public Relations said.

Both militaries have also established a hotline to exchange views on security matters in line with decisions taken during the army chief’s visit.

The Afghan military officers visit Pakistan days after a group of the Taliban in a brutal attack on a university in Pakistan massacred over 20 students, teachers and security guards.

The army said a Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan commander controlled the January 20 attack from Afghanistan. The Pakistan army chief had shared details about the attack with the top Afghan leaders and the foreign forces’ commander in Afghanistan.

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