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Pakistan, NATO generals against militants safe havens

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, June 30, IRNA -- Top NATO and Pakistan army generals have agreed to ensure that both Pakistan and Afghanistan’s territory is no longer used as safe haven for cross border attacks.

General John Allen, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, and Pakistan’s Army Chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, specifically discussed the mutual progress being made to eliminate terrorism and combat extremism, said a joint statement issued on Friday.

Both commanders met in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi on Wednesday and the statement was released by the Pakistan military and the U.S. embassy in Islamabad two days after the talks.

No statement had been issued on the day the two military leaders had held talks and the military sources had told the media that General Kayani had conveyed his serious concern over the cross-border attacks and had asked the NATO commander to take measures to stop insurgents’ attacks into Pakistani territory from Afghan soil.

Pakistan says that a group of nearly 100 militants from Afghanistan attacked its border post in Dir district on Sunday and killed 11 soldiers.

Also on Friday, Pakistani sources said that a mortar shell fired from Afghanistan’s Kunar province, killed a child in Bajaur tribal region.

Afghan officials also say that militants cross into its territory from Afghanistan for attacks on foreign forces.

“This visit helped advance our efforts to achieve the regional stability. Additionally, the meeting provided us perfect opportunity to refocus our attention on our continuing efforts to eliminate the corrosive effects of extremists operating on both sides of the border” the statement quoted General Allen as saying.

The purpose of this trip was to build on the positive momentum established during last month’s meeting of the Afghanistan-Pakistan-ISAF Tripartite Commission, it said.

During May’s Tripartite gathering, the first such discussion in nearly a year, commanders and key staff discussed issues of tactical, operational and strategic importance including cross-border cooperation.

“The meeting served as an opportunity to renew everyone’s desire to address topics and issues of mutual importance,” the joint statement said.

During this visit the commanders specifically discussed the mutual progress being made to eliminate terrorism, combat extremism and ensure that both Pakistan and Afghanistan’s territory are no longer used as a safe haven for cross border attacks, it said.

“The commanders also discussed current operational realities,” the statement added.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80207971

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