Pak-Afghan coordination to combat terrorism

After the Peshawar carnage Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif rushed to Afghanistan and exchanged the intelligence with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who reiterated to launch unprecedented offensive against the Talibans.

The Afghan army’s offensive against the Taliban hiding in Kunar started few days before but it is intensified after Peshawar massacre. According to the intelligence reports Mullah Fazlullah is expected to be hidden in Kunar, Afghanistan. Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan has taken refuge in Kunar. It would be in the huge favour of both the neighbouring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan if the militants along with their masters eradicated from this region. One thing is sure, without peace in the region, we can not have stability of any sorts; forget about the economic stability only. Unless we distance ourselves from all sorts of Jihads, it seems that all the tall claims of eradicating the terrorists and ambassadors of extremism would be hollow slogans. It is an excellent decision to take action against the terrorists of all kind, putting a side the difference of good and bad Taliban.  What are we going to do with hundreds of Haqqani network fighters in Rawalpindi, Abbottabad, Karak and a number of other cities? A real game changer did not come after the attack on minorities or the deaths at Wagah border. If we have learnt anything from the past then in out hearts we know that Peshawar is not our last tragedy.

On Tuesday, General Sher Muhammad Karimi and Commander ISAF General John Campbell visited GHQ and discussed security related matters with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif. Both leaders assured their full support in fight against terrorism and eliminating terrorists on Afghan soil. The visiting dignitaries expressed their grief over the tragic terrorists’ act of Peshawar. Appreciating recently commenced operations by Afghan forces against TTP in areas close to Pak-Afghan Border, General Raheel Sharif vowed to extend full support to the visiting Afghan Chief of General Staff and ISAF Commander in all spheres, including coordinated operations in respective areas by both sides and sharing of intelligence. The trilateral meeting discussed overall security situation in the region, matters relating to coordination on the Pak-Afghan border and protocols put in place to improve border control. Both Chief of General Staff ANA and ISAF Commander acknowledged that due to the successful and non-discriminatory Zarb-e-Azb Operation of the Pakistani Security Forces, Pak Army’s Operational gains were appreciable and terrorist’s networks have been seriously degraded.

From the Afghan scene, General Raheel Sharif’s visit to Afghanistan was an attempt to paint Afghanistan the culprit behind Pakistan’s internal mess. It is one thing that President Ashraf Ghani gives concession to Pakistan government and extends cooperation to fight what he has been calling the common enemy i.e. terrorism. But it is quite another for him or for other Afghans to forget that it has been Pakistan that kept the fire of Jihad burning long after the Soviets and the US had left the region.

The War on Terror has been going on for over a decade now, and only now, do Pakistan and Afghanistan cooperate. Former President Karzai had been shouting out his contempt for us till he was blue in the face, blaming us for being a safe haven for terrorists. With Ghani agreeing to cooperate, has the stance of our military really changed? With a history of distrust, Pakistan and Afghanistan will make uneasy partners. But if they are to end the menace of the Taliban there can be no keeping of strategic assets, no protection to any militants.

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