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Pakistan shares info with Afghan govt on Taliban presence

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 25, IRNA -- Pakistan said Thursday that it has handed down dossier about the presence of a senior Taliban leader in Afghanistan to the Afghan government and International Security Assistance Force [ISAF].

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman made the comments a day after an Afghan official denied the presence of Pakistani Taliban leader, Mullah Fazallullah, in Afghanistan’s border regions.

Fazalullah, who led his thousands of armed militants in fighting against Pakistani forces in 2009, has fled to Afghanistan and regrouped his fighters, Pakistani officials insist.

Pakistani military say that Fazaullah operates from Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar and Nuristan provinces and his fighters have carried out 15 attacks in one year on Pakistani posts and villages.

Foreign Office Spokesman Moazzam Ahmad Khan said at his weekly news briefing that Pakistan has shared intelligence bout the hideouts of Pakistani Taliban leaders in Afghan border regions with Afghan and ISAF authorities.

Wasifullah Wasifi, spokesman for Kunar governor, has denied presence of Fazalullah and said Islamabad has not shared any information about him. He also said that Pakistani Taliban leaders are hiding in the remote mountainous regions on the Pakistani side of the border where Pakistani forces have no control.

Strongly reacting over the statements emanating from Kabul against Pakistan, the Pakistani spokesman said Kabul should avoid conducting diplomacy through the media.

'Both the countries are facing common problems and it is in our common interest to resolve all the issues diplomatically and politically,' he said.

The spokesman said that Pakistan wants to promote good neighborly relations with Afghanistan on the basis of mutual respect and interest, adding there is a need to engage in a mature and responsible dialogue to sort out all the issues.

He said peace and stability in Afghanistan is in Pakistan's prime interest and expressed the confidence that issues between the two neighbors will be resolved through different channels of dialogue. He said our commitment in the fight against terror is beyond any doubt. Deeds speak louder than the words.

To a question on Durand Line, which separates Pakistan and Afghanistan, Moazzam Khan said as far as Pakistan is concerned this is a closed and settled issue. He said Islamabad regards Durand Line as an international border so does the international community.

Afghanistan does not consider Duran Line as international border and angrily reacted to recent remarks by US envoy, Marc Grossman who said Washington considers the Duran Line as international border.

Commenting on the stance of two US presidential candidates on drone strikes in the Pakistani tribal regions, the foreign office spokesman said Islamabad’s position on drone attacks is clear. 'They are illegal, counterproductive and violation of our territorial integrity.'

He admitted that the two countries share divergent views on this issue, but hoped that this can be resolved mutually. He said Pakistan has good relations with the US and wants to further deepen them.

Responding to a question about the statements of President Obama on operation to kill Osama bin Laden, he made it clear that fighting terrorism and extremism within Pakistani territory is the country's responsibility and Islamabad will not allow anybody else to assume this responsibility.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80387271

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