ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is welcoming a US military offer to take action against militants involved in cross-border raids against Pakistan from Afghan soil. Pakistani officials say the move "augurs well" for regional counterterrorism cooperation.

General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, told reporters in Kabul on Monday his offer was meant to discourage Pakistan army from shooting at civilians across the Afghan border while responding to border raids by militants. “We have also offered if they [Pakistan] have a concern about anything on this side of the Durand Line [the border] to let us know and we will act against it so that it is not necessary for cross-border shelling to occur,” said the US general.

The chief spokesman for Pakistan's army, Major General Asif Ghafoor, while responding to Nicholson's remarks, told Voice of America (VOA) his country has always offered and sought cooperation to strengthen border security.

“Unilaterally Pakistan, having cleared all areas on Pakistan side, has restored writ if [the] state, including steps like enhancing [troop] presence along the border [with Afghanistan], establishing new forts and posts and has also started to fence the border to deny freedom of movement to illegal crossers and terrorists.” Ghafoor explained.

General Nicholson also emphasized the need for improving border coordination to address mutual concerns. "I think the concern now is that we improve the mechanisms for control along the Durand Line so that we may have mechanisms to consult before people start shooting and not after innocent people have been displaced," the general observed.

Mushahid Hussain, who heads the defence affairs committee of the Pakistani Senate, said Nicholson’s remarks are an acknowledgment of Islamabad’s “valid and justifiable” concerns regarding security management of the border.

“The US promise, at long last, to address these core concerns augurs well not just for border management but also for Pakistan-US counter-terror cooperation,” said Mushahid.