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Pakistani PM steps in to ease Afghan border tension

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 7, IRNA -- pakistan's Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, telephoned President Hamid Karzai Wednesday night and expressed 'serious concern over activities of militants' along Pakistan-Afghanistan border, PM's office said Wednesday.

Pakistani and Afghan sides claim that militants have recently carried out cross-border attacks, causing casualties of security forces and civilians.

Also on Wednesday Pakistan said that over 100 militants from Afghanistan entered Pakistani border Dir District and killed several policemen.

In Afghanistan, governor of Nuristan said that at least thirty-three border police were killed in a Taliban attack. Five civilians, including two women died in the indicent. The Governor of Nuristan Province Jamaluddin Badar said that the militants had crossed the border from Pakistan to attack a police checkpoint.

“The Prime Minister conveyed to President Karzai that Pakistan Army was exercising utmost restraint, despite repeated cross border incursions by the militants’ raids from the Afghan side into Pakistan,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s office said.

“The situation needs to be defused quickly,” Gilani said, adding that Pakistan has requested the ISAF to convene immediate meeting for border coordination between the regional commanders.

The Prime Minister requested President Karzai to ask ISAF and Afghan military commanders to join Pakistan’s efforts to defuse the situation created by the militants and to avoid any further loss of life of innocent persons on both sides.

President Karzai showed his serious concern over the situation and expressed his readiness to send ISAF and Afghan commanders for a meeting to address this issue, the statement said.

“He stressed that both countries should remain in touch with each other and jointly frustrate the evil designs of the militants”.

Mr. Karzai further said that it is a trap of the militants, which can be thwarted through close coordination and understanding, the statement said.

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