- COAS to take part in tripartite talks between Afghanistan, Pakistan and ISAF
- Meeting is vital as both Afghanistan and NATO need Pakistan to ward off possible threats to Afghan security
In the wake of Afghan allegations that Pakistani forces have started constructing bunkers inside their territory, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif is due to visit Kabul on Monday (today) to take part in trilateral anti-terror talks among Afghanistan, Pakistan and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
“The chief of the army staff will be going to Kabul on Monday for a day-long visit. He will hold important meetings with Afghan military and ISAF commanders,” an Inter-Services Public Relations statement said.
General Sharif would be attending the trilateral meeting in Kabul for the first time, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman General Zahir Azeemi said in a statement.
“The tripartite meeting is aimed at discussing cooperation in security and fighting terrorism,” the ministry said.
The meeting is important as it takes place at a time when foreign troops are devising an exit strategy and Afghanistan and NATO need Pakistan’s cooperation to ward off any threat to Afghan security. The visit also coincides with recent tensions along the border in Balochistan.
Afghanistan claimed on Thursday that an Afghan border policeman was killed as clashes broke out with Pakistani troops along the border in southern Kandahar province.
The Afghan Interior Ministry had also alleged that Pakistani forces had started “construction of bunkers and checkposts inside the Afghan territory” in the Maroof district of Kandahar.
The Pakistan Army had rejected these claims and in turn accused Afghan forces of firing at a Pakistani post.
A security official had said that the Afghan National Army troops resorted to unprovoked firing on Pakistani post in Loe Bund area near Qilla Saifullah in Balochistan. The Afghan Interior Ministry insisted that no country could build any checkpoint and bunker four kilometers of the border under the tripartite agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and NATO.
They claim that Pakistani forces had violated the agreement and dug bunkers and built posts two kilometers near the Zero Point along the border.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have nearly 2,500 kilometers of a joint border and both routinely accuse each other of cross-border attacks.
Moreover, Pakistan says that senior leaders of the banned terrorist outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have taken shelter in Afghanistan and frequently launch attacks on security forces in Pakistan.
Officials also say that TTP chief Maulvi Fazalullah leads his men from Afghanistan’s Nuristan province.
In February, Pakistan said that the TTP executed 23 FC soldiers inside Afghanistan. The FC men had been kidnapped from a check post in Mohmand Agency in 2010 and were believed to have been taken to other side of the border. Pakistan had lodged a formal protest over the incident.