MUNICH: A day after Afghan Taliban seized Kunduz city, the country took to calling on Pakistan to crack down on extremists carrying out cross-border attacks, claiming that some of the Kunduz raiders came from across the border. On the other hand, the army chief of Pakistan – which is itself a victim of border infiltration – said practical steps are required to manage the porous border for gainful conclusion of military operation the country has been carrying out against all militants without any discrimination.

Both Pakistan and Afghanistan have long been accusing each other of harbouring militants who launch attacks from their bases in one country into the other. Afghanistan has been particularity accusing Pakistan of giving space to Haqqani network. But Islamabad says its Zarb-e-Azb military operation is against all militants and it has already destroyed most of their sanctuaries.

Pakistan on the other hand has been calling on Afghanistan to act against Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) whose cadres found refuge in Afghan border provinces. They are responsible for most of the terror acts in Pakistan, including this month’s PAF base attack near Peshawar which Islamabad says was launched from Afghanistan. “Practical steps are required to manage the Pak-Afghan border for the gainful conclusion of Operation Zarb-e-Azb,” Pakistan’s Army Chief General Raheel Sharif told the Central South Asia Security Conference at Marshal Centre in Munich city of Germany on Tuesday.

Afghan instability had telling effects on the region, he told the conference which discussed regional peace and security with special focus on perpetual instability in Afghanistan. He urged all the stakeholders to revive reconciliation process. “Despite hurdles, peace and reconciliation are of vital importance for larger settlement in Afghanistan,” General Raheel said, highlighting that regional instability has deeply affected socio-economic climate in his country. “A peaceful Afghanistan can open regional connectivity,” the army chief said, adding that benefits of China Pakistan Economic Corridor project can be shared with the landlocked neighbor. This project, he said, is essential for development of Pakistan which would help address extremism.

Pakistan army chief later in the day reached London on a three-day visit. He is expected to hold meetings on defence matters and regional security, particularly with reference to Afghanistan. On the other hand, Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah called on Pakistan to keep its promise of clamping down on extremists who are allegedly waging cross-border attacks. In his address to the UN General Assembly Monday night, which came hours after Kunduz fall, Abdullah alleged that some of the attackers had come from abroad. In their multi-pronged attack involving hundreds of fighters, Afghan Taliban Tuesday seized a major urban area for the first time since the 2001 US-led invasion, setting alarm bells ringing in the whole world.

We call on Pakistan to do what its leadership promised to us a few months ago when they agreed to crack down on known terror outfits,” the Afghan leader said, expressing optimism that the insurgency would be defeated. “These attempts will eventually fail to subdue us.” Afghan leaders have been saying that presence of terrorist sanctuaries and support networks in Pakistan were cause trouble in their country, identifying the Haqqani network as the main culprit. Abdullah also called on Pakistan to honour its commitment to engage in peace talks with the Taliban. Afghanistan also needed regional stakeholders and international partners to realise the gravity of the situation and use their “good offices” to support the country’s process leading to talks with the Taliban and other armed opposition groups.

The Afghan chief executive also cited the Islamic State as among the extremist groups sowing terror in Afghanistan, and said without external support “this guerrilla-style low intensity warfare would have been history by now.”