JANUARY 2017

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Afghanistan, Pakistan Sign Border Coordination Agreement

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By Sayed Jawad *

Afghanistan, Pakistan and the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) signed an agreement on November 20 to “improve near border coordination”.

Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Acting ISAF commander Lt Gen Nicholas Carter and Afghan Army chief Gen Sher Muhammad Karimi Tuesday attended a meeting of the Tripartite Commission of Afghanistan, Pakistan and ISAF in Kabul that reviewed ongoing military operations in the region and the planned withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

The participants also discussed transition of responsibility from ISAF to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) as per the ISAF drawdown plan in 2014 and measures to gradually enhance Pak-Afghan bilateral border coordination arrangements until and beyond 2014. The three sides agreed to continue cooperation for enduring success, peace and stability on both sides of the border.

According to a Pakistani military statement, “The three sides agreed to continue cooperation for enduring success, peace and stability on both sides of the border.”

Although details of the new mechanism were not made public, a senior military official said that Pakistan and Afghanistan would share with each other information about their military activities against militants in the border areas.

Before the meeting, Kayani called on President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace and discussed “matters of mutual interest”.

The three sides have held several formal and informal meetings to discuss the issue. In May, Pakistan and ISAF agreed on enhanced border coordination but a formal agreement was awaited.

Salahuddin Rabbani, chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council, also stressed enhanced border coordination during his recent visit to Islamabad and interaction with top Pakistani civilian and military leadership.

Due to a long porous border, militants move across the Durand Line creating problems on both sides, Pakistani officials said.

[Source: Khaama Press]

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