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Iran Press TV

Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to end blame game

Iran Press TV

Sep 5, 2015 6:5PM

A senior Pakistani official says the governments in Islamabad and Kabul have agreed to end a blame game over a spate of cross-border attacks that have harmed the relationship between the two countries.

Sartaj Aziz, the foreign affairs adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister, made the announcement on state television on Saturday.

Aziz recently met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

“The main thing that we both agreed upon was to restore trust, end the blame game against each other and create a positive atmosphere,” Aziz said, adding, “We will work on establishing memorandum of trust building to avoid such a situation in the future.”

The Pakistani official held meetings with the Afghan president and other senior officials in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Friday.

Afghanistan and Pakistan accuse each other of doing too little to prevent the Taliban militants from operating on their territory.

In August, the Pakistani military said at least four troops were killed by mortars fired across the Afghan border.

In early July, Dawlat Waziri, the deputy spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, alleged that Pakistani helicopters had airdropped weapons to the Taliban militants in the troubled southeastern province of Paktika. Senior Afghan officials have also accused some elements within the Pakistani military of being behind a recent wave of devastating blasts in Kabul.

The relations between Kabul and Islamabad have traditionally been mired in distrust. Afghanistan and Pakistan blame each other for the Taliban violence plaguing both countries.

Tensions have risen along the Afghan-Pakistani border in recent months.

Kabul blames elements inside the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for supporting the Taliban militants, while Islamabad blames the Afghan government for giving refuge to militants on its side of the border.

Earlier on Friday, Pakistani officials said they plan to ask Afghan officials whether Kabul is interested in resuming peace talks with the Taliban.

President Ghani has been hoping that Islamabad could push Afghan Taliban leaders to the bargaining table to end Afghanistan’s long war.

The developments come as the first round of talks between a four-member delegation of the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) and the Taliban took place in early July in the Pakistani city of Murree, north of the capital, Islamabad. The parties agreed to meet again.

The delegation from Kabul had described the meeting as a step in the right direction and vowed more substantive talks on ending the violence in Afghanistan during the upcoming round of negotiations.

However, a second round planned for July 18 was canceled owing to a power struggle within the militant group after the announcement of the death of its former leader, Mullah Omar.

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