ISLAMABAD, June 29: Pakistan’s military establishment and the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) have resolved that territories of Pakistan and Afghanistan will no longer be used as safe havens for cross-border attacks.
The commitment was made at a meeting of top military officers of the two sides. According to a joint statement of the Pakistan Army and Isaf issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Friday, Isaf Commander General John R. Allen, who had arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday, held a detailed meeting with Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
The ISRP spokesman quoted Gen Allen as saying: “This visit helped advance our efforts to achieve the regional stability. Additionally, the meeting provided us a perfect opportunity to refocus our attention on our continuing efforts to eliminate the corrosive effects of extremists operating on both sides of the border.”
The purpose of the trip was to build on the positive momentum established during last month’s meeting of the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Isaf Tripartite Commission.
During the tripartite gathering, the first such discussion in nearly a year, commanders and key staff discussed issues of tactical, operational and strategic importance, including cross-border cooperation. The meeting served as an opportunity to renew everyone’s desire to address topics and issues of mutual importance.
During the current visit, the commanders specifically discussed the mutual progress being made to eliminate terrorism, combat extremism and ensure that territories of both Pakistan and Afghanistan are no longer used as safe havens for cross-border attacks. “The commanders also discussed current operational realities,” the military spokesman said.
The US military authorities have already described the meeting between commanders of the two sides as “very productive”.
Pakistan-US relations hit their lowest ebb after the November Nato air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at the Salala checkpost near the Afghan border. The attack led to suspension of Nato supplies by Pakistan.
Gen Allen’s visit took place two days after militants from Afghanistan attacked a checkpost in Dir and killed six security personnel.
According to informed sources, General Kayani forcefully raised the issue with Gen Allen and said such incidents would cause further deterioration in the already strained relationship between Pakistan and the United States.