Making a policy statement in the Senate on the recent tension in Pak-Afghan relations, Khawaja Asif said the government has been in talks with the Afghan government over one year to ensure better management of the border in order to stop infiltration of militants from both sides. He said this is in the interest of both the countries.
Pakistan is determined for effective border management with Afghanistan for peace and security in the region, he added.
Referring to the recent tension caused by clashes at Torkham border, the Minister reaffirmed Pakistans commitment for brotherly relations with the neighbouring country.
He said both the countries share common history, culture and religion and their destinies are interlinked.
We have no animosity with Afghanistan; rather interests of both the countries are interconnected, he said.
Asif said there are 78 crossing points between the both countries out of which 16 have been notified. Chaman and Torkha are the main crossing points.
He complained that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) enjoy the support of Afghan institutes as many of TTP leaders have taken shelter in Afghanistan.
We wont face allegations of backing Haqqani Group and Afghan Shura if 30 million Afghan refugees return to their country, he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Pak Army spokesman Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa told reporters that efforts were underway on the political, diplomatic and military level to halt the escalation, saying “it will get resolved.”
He said Pakistan has seen incursions by militants from across the Torkham border lately, which prompted authorities to implement more effective border control. He said he didnt know why the Afghan side initiated fire after Pakistan started construction work on its territory but Pakistani troops “effectively responded” after coming under attack.
Afghanistans ambassador to Islamabad Omar Zakhilwal on Wednesday said he met Pakistani officials and the countries had “agreed on a ceasefire”. Previous ceasefire deals announced over the last two days were swiftly broken.
Pakistan insists the gate it is building at Torkham Border is well on its side of the border and will help stop militants from crossing and help fight drug trafficking.
Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had also expressed concern over what he called the Afghan armys attempts to “disrupt border management efforts” by Pakistan.
Afghanistan objects to all Pakistani construction on a 2,200-km (1,370-mile) border it says was unfairly imposed by British colonialists in the 19th century and which it has never recognized.
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