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February 18, 2015

Pak-Afghan anti-terror operations to continue

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February 18, 2015

KABUL: Army chief General Raheel Sharif on Tuesday said Pakistan was sharing unprecedented levels of intelligence with Afghanistan and both the countries were working hand in glove to eradicate terrorism, the Voice of America reported.
During an unannounced visit to Kabul, General Raheel Sharif told the Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah: “The enemies of Afghanistan are the enemies of Pakistan. We are there to stand by you and to fight this war to the end. This menace of terrorism, which has hurt both Afghanistan and Pakistan, needs to be tackled boldly.”
The COAS and the Afghan president appreciated the improving relations between the two countries, said Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa in messages posted on social media website Twitter.Both the leaders agreed not to allow the use of their soil against each other and resolved to continue the operation against terrorists on both sides of the border, he said.
Abdullah said “concrete steps” had been taken by both sides to normalise their relationship, which had been tense during the previous administration of President Hamid Karzai, who often blamed Pakistan for providing safe havens to groups that carried out crossborder attacks in Afghanistan.
This was Raheel Sharif’s third trip to Afghanistan since President Ashraf Ghani’s inauguration, and his second since a devastating attack on a school in Peshawar that killed 134 children and 16 adults.
Afghanistan has helped Pakistan arrest some of the members of the cell that carried out that attack, according to military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa.Afghan officials say a recent military operation by the Pakistan Army in the North Waziristan tribal area had disrupted the infrastructure that supported attacks on Afghanistan. But they say members of the Afghan Taliban, particularly groups like the Haqqani Network that caused the most destruction for Afghan and ISAF forces, are still not directly targeted.
Pakistan claims it is going after all

the militants, those that target Pakistan and those that target the neighbouring countries.Security cooperation between the two countries has significantly increased under President Ghani. But some Afghan officials have indicated they are “waiting” to get a quid pro quo from Pakistan for all the help they have provided in tracking and catching members of the Pakistani Taliban.
Afghanistan would like Pakistan to use its influence with the Afghan Taliban in facilitating possible peace negotiations. Pakistan has said it supports an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” peace process.
Pakistan, on the other hand, would like Afghanistan to help capture Mullah Fazlullah, the head of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, who is believed to be taking shelter in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.
The army chief, who was accompanied by the director general of ISI, met civilian and military leaders including President Ghani during his one-day trip.A statement released from the palace after the meeting said Pakistan had assured Afghanistan of its commitment and its “efforts will become clearer in the near future”.