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Pakistan blames militants for Afghan border tension

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 8, IRNA -- Pakistan blamed militants on friday for the current cross-border attacks along its borders with Afghanistan and said there is a common concern between the two countries on this issue.

Pakistan and Afghanistan say that militants launched attacks in border regions of both countries in recent weeks which caused casualties of the security forces and civilians.

Pakistan says that its 55 security personnel were killed and over 80 other injured in five attacks from Afghan side in a month time.

Afghanistan also says that hundreds of rockets were fired and militants from Pakistani territory attacked security men.

“This situation is being created by militants causing loss of human life and damage to property in Pakistan as well as in border regions of Afghanistan,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said at her weekly press briefing.

To a question she said Pakistan has categorically stated that it would support and facilitate the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process in that country.

She said Pakistan is supporting the process because it is in its national interests to have peace and stability in Afghanistan.

She pointed out that there is two-tier mechanism to support peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan involving Pakistan, US and Afghanistan and next meetings of these groups would be held in Islamabad for which dates are being discussed.

She said the Prime Minister on Thursday took up the issue with Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressing serious concern over the development.

The spokesperson said joint working group of Pakistan and India on Cross-Line of Control, which divides Pakistan and India in the disputed Kashmir region, and Confidence Building Measures would meet in New Delhi on July 18.

Director-General South Asia of Foreign Office would lead Pakistan's delegation at the meeting.

She said dates for Ministerial level meeting between Pakistan and India are being finalized.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar would lead Pakistan's delegations at the talks.

The spokesperson said that the Pakistan-US relationship is on track but acknowledged that there were difficulties in the relationship in the past but the two sides are trying to remove them through dialogue and discussions.

She said the two countries are making efforts to recommence work on the strategic dialogue process and only two days back a meeting of the working group on law enforcement and counter terrorism was held in Islamabad.

The spokesperson said there is recognition in the US administration about importance of relationship with Pakistan.

She said there are more positives in the relationship than negatives.

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