19 July 2018

Pakistan offers help to Afghanistan to tackle terrorism

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Pakistan on Tuesday offered neighboring Afghanistan help in eliminating suspected terrorist safe havens in its border areas. reports citing Daily Sabah.

Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan’s army chief said both countries would continue to suffer if terrorists using Afghan territory are not contained.

The remarks came during a security meeting he chaired following a suicide attack in northeastern Lahore city on Monday, which claimed 26 lives.

“Concurrent blasts at Kabul and Lahore are testimony of our stance that both Pakistan and Afghanistan are victims of terrorism and will continue to suffer if these actors are able to use Afghanistan's territory with impunity,” Bajwa was quoted as saying by Pakistan Army’s media wing, Inter-services Public Relations (ISPR).

More than 30 people were killed in a deadly blast in Kabul hours before the suicide attack in Lahore on Monday.

“We are ready to help Afghanistan to eliminate terrorist safe heavens in their border areas as we have done on our side,” he added, referring to a series of operations against the Taliban since 2014 the army launched in the restive tribal belt, along the border it shares with Afghanistan.

In an indirect reference to Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) he said that some “regional actors and hostile intelligence agencies were fully involved to use terror as a policy tool”.

Islamabad maintains the Indian intelligence agency is operating from Afghanistan to destabilize Pakistan.

Last month, the army chief had called for joint border management and security cooperation against terror group Daesh, an offer which received a lukewarm response from Kabul.

Kabul and Islamabad have long been accusing each other of providing sanctuaries to the militants in their respective border areas.

A series of terrorists attacks in both countries, for which both sides blame each other, has put a further strain on the already frosty relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent months.

Pakistan had brokered the landmark first round of direct talks between the fragile Afghan government and the Taliban in Islamabad in July 2015, but the process broke down after Taliban announced the death of their long-term leader Mullah Omer, triggering a bitter power struggle within the militia.

Chances for resumption of the stalled process were further dimmed, following the death of Mullah Omer’s successor Mullah Mansur in a US drone strike last year, on Pakistan’s side near its border with Afghanistan.

Several attempts aimed at resuming the halted process have been made since July 2015 by a four-nation group comprising of Pakistan, Afghanistan, U.S. and China but failed one after the other.

2017.07.25 / 19:29
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