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ISLAMABAD / KABUL: Pakistan on Thursday rejected the Afghan allegations that its air force had violated its airspace and carried out raids inside Afghan territory.

“Pakistani security forces are undertaking counter-terrorism operations in Bajaur Agency directed against terrorist groups who continue to attack Pakistan from their sanctuaries based on Afghan soil that have resulted in loss of lives and injuries on the Pakistani side,” Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal tweeted after Kabul alleged that Pakistan had conducted air strikes in the Afghan province of Kunar causing “huge financial damage”.

He said that in a meeting of the director generals military operations of the two countries held in Rawalpindi on Thursday, Pakistan shared details of the operations with the Afghan side indicating that these operations were on the Pakistani side of the border.

Khawaja Asif assails NSA Janjua’s meeting with Indian high commissioner

He urged the Afghan government to refrain from blame game.

Earlier, Reuters quoted a statement from Afghanistan’s ministry of foreign affairs alleging that Pakistani jets dropped four bombs on Wednesday evening in Kunar’s Dangam district.

The tension comes ahead of a visit to Kabul on Friday by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, when he and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani are expected to discuss cooperation on stopping militant attacks.

Janjua-Bisaria’s meeting

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in an interview with a news channel said that National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua should not have met the Indian high commissioner — at least not in the current circumstances.

“Considering the escalation of tensions and atrocities committed by the Indian military in occupied Kashmir, it would have been better if the national security adviser had postponed his meeting with the Indian high commissioner,” Mr Asif said.

The minister said there was no doubt that Pakistan was and is always looking for diplomatic solutions to international conflicts, and the goal was to settle disputes with India over the negotiating table. However, the meeting was not timed well and hurt the sentiments of both the Kashmiri and Pakistani people.

Mr Janjua held a meeting with the Indian envoy on Tuesday, in which the two discussed the growing tensions between their countries.

“Indian violations over the Working Boundary have increased exponentially over the last few years since the Modi government has taken over,” Mr Asif said. About the aggressive posture and hawkish policies of India, he said the BJP was using religious extremism to fuel its populist agenda.

The minister’s remarks followed the FO briefing at which spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said that efforts were continuing for resumption of dialogue with India, calling upon New Delhi to end violence in held Kashmir as a first step towards resolution of the longstanding dispute.

This he said while responding to a query about the meeting between Mr Bisaria and Mr Janjua.

He recalled that Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Delhi Sohail Mehmood had also met Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

Mr Doval and Gen Janjua too had met in Bangkok last December and the two reportedly more recently helped resolve a diplomatic row between their countries over harassment of diplomats. A telephonic conversation between the two reportedly paved the way for the agreement on adhering to the 1992 Code of Conduct for treatment of diplomatic/consular personnel in each other’s countries.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2018