Islamabad - Pakistan and Afghanistan Thursday agreed to establish a Joint Working Group on Security to tackle common challenges relating to terrorism.
In a joint statement issued after daylong high-level talks in Islamabad, both sides agreed on the need to take action against all terrorists without making any distinction among them and their hideouts on their respective sides.
National Security Adviser of Afghanistan, Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta held a series of talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.
According to the joint statement, Dr Spanta called on the prime minister and delivered President Karzai’s letter. The PM welcomed President’s letter and Dr Spanta’s visit to Pakistan. Both sides reiterated their common resolve to further enhance the bilateral relationship in all dimensions in a meaningful and result-oriented manner.
Dr Spanta participated in delegation-level talks with the Adviser Sartaj Aziz. He also had a meeting with the Chief of the Army Staff. During the talks, the main focus was on strengthening bilateral security cooperation. Both sides agreed on the need to take action against all terrorists without making any distinction among them and their hideouts on their respective sides.
The two sides agreed that terrorism was a common enemy and emphasised closer cooperation and coordination at institutional level to deal with this common menace. In this context, the two sides agreed to establish a Joint Working Group on Security, co-chaired by the Foreign Secretary/Deputy Foreign Minister and also comprising representatives of relevant security institutions. They also agreed to hold a meeting of their relevant officials in Islamabad on July 3 to enhance their security coordination.
Both sides also reaffirmed their commitment to building a comprehensive bilateral relationship, marked by enhanced trade and economic partnership. The Pakistan side reaffirmed providing all-out support to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. It was agreed to further strengthen bilateral engagement at all levels for addressing each other’s concerns and pursuing the cause of peace and stability in the region.
Earlier, during a news brieing, Foreign Office spokesperson expressed the hope that Afghanistan would take necessary steps on its side of the border to stop the fleeing terrorists from North Waziristan for finding any sanctuary on the Afghan soil.
Tasnim Aslam recalled the purpose of the visit of special envoy Mahmood Khan Achakzai to Kabul was also aimed at seeking Afghan cooperation in management of the border. She said the visit of Afghan Advisor Dr Rangin Spanta also aims to take the discussion forward on the matter.
She said that Pakistan had taken extraordinary measures including restriction of movement and deployment of additional troops on the border when presidential elections took place in Afghanistan.
Answering a question, she said Afghanistan has also not taken Pakistan on board about operation against terrorists by its security forces in Helman province, still Pakistan on its own has enhanced security measures alongside Afghan border in Balochistan.