Working with Pakistan, Afghanistan on curbing border violence: US
WASHINGTON: Observing that the United States’ relations with Pakistan are settling back into normal phase of cooperation, Washington on Wednesday said that it is working with both Islamabad and Kabul to contain violence along their porous border.
“Well, we’re working closely with both countries, obviously, to try to limit violence along the Afghan-Pakistan border,” a Pentagon spokesman said, amid weeks of complaining from both sides about cross-border attacks along the restive Durrand Line.
Pakistan has asked Kabul to act against safe havens of Pakistani militants in its eastern Kunar and Nooristan provinces, in the backdrop of more than a dozen cross-border assaults that have killed over 100 people, including civilians and security forces. Reports say Mullah Fazlullah and other militants, who fled the Pakistani counterterrorism operations in Swat and Bajuar, have found refuge across the border in Afghanistan.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said “We are settling back into a normal phase of cooperation with our Pakistani partners. And border coordination, we believe, is improving.”
In answering a question, Little saw no change in the US-led allies’ Afghan mission.
“In our estimation, I’m not sure there’s any particular change to the mission in Afghanistan. We’re carrying out the mission as we’ve designed it,” said Little.
“We’re moving quickly and prudently toward implementation of the improvement of Afghan national security force capabilities. And, of course, we’re following the Lisbon timeline toward the end of 2014,” he added, referring to the deadline set by Nato on transfer of full security responsibility to Afghans and end to combat mission in the conflict-ridden country.