Paper on Afghan border coordination signed at tripartite meeting
KABUL: To improve coordination along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, a document for tripartite border coordination mechanism was signed at a meeting of the Tripartite Commission at the Afghan ministry of defence here on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, acting Commander of ISAF Lt-Gen Nicholas Carter, Afghan Chief of General Staff Gen Sher Mohammad Karimi and their delegations.
According to the ISPR, the participants reviewed ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and adjoining tribal areas of Pakistan.
They also discussed transition of responsibility about security situation in Afghanistan from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the Afghan National Security Forces as per the ISAF drawdown plan 2014. Measures to gradually enhance Pakistan-Afghan bilateral border coordination arrangements till and beyond 2014 were also discussed.
The three sides agreed to continue cooperation for enduring peace and stability on both sides of the border.
Before the meeting, General Kayani called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace and discussed with him matters of mutual interest.
General Kayani, who was in Kabul on a one-day visit, also met senior members of the international military coalition.
In the meeting, President Karzai praised Pakistan for releasing a group of Taliban prisoners, a move he hoped would kick-start peace talks with the militant group, the president’s office said in a statement.
Pakistan has so far released at least nine Taliban prisoners. The most prominent was former justice minister Nooruddin Turabi, who served when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan in the 1990s. Afghan officials said last week that Pakistan had agreed to release
others as well.
The release is seen as a signal that Pakistan is willing to take concrete steps to revive efforts to lure the Taliban to negotiating table to work out an agreement before international forces hand over security duties to the Afghans by the end of 2014.
The prisoner release could help in that, but obstacles remain. It is unclear whether the Taliban even intend to take part in the process, or just wait until foreign forces’ withdrawal to make a move.
President Karzai’s office said his discussions with Gen Kayani were “frank, cordial and in-depth”.—Agencies