ISLAMABAD- Senior Pakistani and Afghan defense and intelligence officials today held talks on security issues to improve border management and discuss cooperation in the major military operation in North Waziristan tribal region, officials said.
Major General Afzal Aman, Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Afghan National Army, led a six-member delegation in talks with senior Pakistani defense officials in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Pakistani DGMO led his side in the meeting which is seen as very important at a time when Islamabad is anxious to seek Afghan cooperation to boost security on the border to stop fleeing militants from crossing the border.
Security officials held follow up discussions on the issues discussed during the visit to Pakistan by President Hamid Karzai’s top security adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta to “enhance their security coordination,” Pakistani and Afghan officials aid. The issue of cross-border shelling and the presence of the Taliban militants in both countries came up under discussion, a security source privy to the talks told sources.
Kabul alleges rockets and artillery firing into eastern Kunar province from Pakistani territory while Islamabad insists Pakistani Taliban have regrouped in Afghanistan border regions and routinely launch attacks on Pakistani border posts and village from the other side of the border.
Afghan officials also say that Afghan Taliban live in Pakistan and make plans for attacks in Afghanistan. Islamabad says Pakistani Taliban chief, Maulvi Fazalulah has regrouped his fighters in Nuristan province while President Karzai has publically stated that the Afghan Taliban reclusive leader, Mullah Omar lives in the southwestern city of Quetta, the claim denied by Pakistan.
Pakistani and Afghan sources say that senior defense officials of the two countries, after the talks, will later travel to Kunar to review the border security situation and to address to “each other concerns.” Last week the two countries agreed to establish a Joint Working Group on Security aimed at focusing on strengthening bilateral security cooperation. Today’s talks are being held in line with the formation of the joint working group which is co-chaired by the Pakistan Foreign Secretary and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister and is comprised of representatives of relevant security institutions.