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Kabul has assured cooperation in NWA operation, says FO


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday confirmed that Afghanistan has assured to render cooperation in executing the ongoing military action North Waziristan Agency (NWA), saying it has also taken up with Kabul the issue of Mullah Fazlullah, a notorious militant commander allegedly waging deadly attacks in Pakistan from across the border.
Moreover, Islamabad also hopes that Kabul will not allow its territory to be used against Pakistan.
“The Afghan authorities have assured us of their cooperation. The military authorities are better placed to inform you about the situation on the ground. At the political level, we have emphasised that there is a need for a particularly better border management and control at this time. You would recall that ISPR (Inter-Services Public relations) also issued a statement that Afghan authorities have been contacted through military channels as well, emphasising the need for parallel steps from the other side,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told a weekly press briefing on Thursday. 
She was referring to a recent telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a meeting between Afghan ambassador and Pakistan’s army chief in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.
To a query whether Pakistan has again taken up the matter of Mullah Fazlullah with Afghanistan, the FO spokesperson said these issues were discussed with Afghanistan. 
“We also discuss how to take measures together to eliminate terrorism. We have a commitment not to allow our territory to be used against Afghanistan, we expect Afghanistan not to allow its territory to be used against Pakistan.”
On the upcoming visit of Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaz Aziz to Russia against the backdrop of renewed defence cooperation between Islamabad and Moscow, Aslam said: “Our bilateral relations have been on a positive trajectory. In recent years, there have been many visits and many initiatives. The adviser’s visit is to attend a conference. He will also be meeting with his Russian counterpart. They will be discussing the status of bilateral relations and how to take this relationship forward and how to give it more impetus. That essentially will be the context of the meeting. Naturally, they would also discuss the regional situation and other issues of mutual interest.”
Sharing Pakistan’s concern on the escalating violence and deteriorating security situation in Iraq, the FO spokesperson said that most of the Pakistanis are not in the area where the situation is more alarming. “There were some Pakistanis in Tikrit but they left the town before the situation got to this point. Our embassy is in touch with our citizens and obviously we remain concerned about their welfare. We will take all the necessary steps if we assess that they are in any kind of danger.”
On the return of US drone strikes on Pakistan’s tribal belt, Aslam said the Pakistani government has taken a number of steps to generate international public opinion against drone strikes. 

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