Pakistan, Afghanistan, ISAF agree on border coordination
* Agreement important in wake of cross-border firing, militant infiltration from Afghan side
ISLAMABAD: After reviewing the ongoing military operation on both sides of the Durand Line, Pakistan, ISAF and Afghanistan on Tuesday signed the Tripartite Border Coordination Mechanism after army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani held meetings with top commanders of ISAF and Afghan army in Kabul, military officials said.
A senior official of the Foreign Ministry said the agreement was important in the wake of cross-border firing and militant infiltration from the Afghan side that lead to misunderstandings. Confirming the meeting and visit of Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani, the ISPR stated that the 36th Meeting of Tripartite Commission (TPC) was held at Afghan Defence Ministry. “The meeting was part of Tripartite Coordination Mechanism and attended by COAS Gen Ashfaq Kayani, Acting ISAF Commander Lieutenant General Nicholas Carter and Afghan COGS General Sher Karimi along with their delegations.”
The participants reviewed ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and adjoining Tribal Areas of Pakistan. “The meeting was significant due to the fact that a document for ‘Tripartite Border Coordination Mechanism’ was also signed to improve border coordination,” an ISPR spokesman said.
The participants also discussed transition of responsibility from ISAF to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) as per the ISAF drawdown plan in 2014 and measures to gradually enhance Pak-Afghan bilateral border coordination arrangements until and beyond 2014. The three sides agreed to continue cooperation for enduring success, peace and stability on both sides of the border.
Before the meeting, COAS Gen Ashfaq Kayani called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace. Matters of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting, the ISPR stated.
The three sides have held several formal and informal meetings to discuss the issue. In May, Pakistan and ISAF agreed on enhanced border coordination but a formal agreement was awaited.
Salahuddin Rabbani, chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council, also stressed enhanced border coordination during his recent visit to Islamabad and interaction with top Pakistani civilian and military leadership.
Due to a long porous border, militants move across the Durand Line creating problems on both sides, Pakistani officials said.