Joint coordination centre to be set up
KABUL (PAN): A joint Afghanistan-Pakistan-ISAF coordination centre is being established in the Torkham border town to resolve security-related issues on both sides of the Durand Line, a foreign ministry official said on Monday.
The proposed centre, to be set up soon, would help enhance cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan in areas of security and economic development, the foreign ministry's deputy spokesman told Pajhwok Afghan News. Dr. Faramarz Tamanna said Afghanistan preferred the centre to be built on this side of the border.
Also on Monday, Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi informed the Wolesi Jirga that NATO's top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, recently discussed the establishment of the centre with Pakistani officials.
“I told Gen. Allen to prevent Pakistani rocket attacks and the country’s interference in our internal matters,” Ibrahimi told lawmakers.
Dozens of people have been killed and wounded in rocket shelling from Pakistani soil into eastern Afghan provinces, including Kunar and Nuristan. Hundreds of families have been displaced as a result.
Ibrahimi said he had told Allen to stop the Pakistani assaults in compliance with the strategic agreement between Afghanistan and the US. The speaker said if the US did not help prevent the incursions, the agreement would lose its credibility.
Mirbat Khan Mangal, a public representative from southeastern Khost province, said under the strategic cooperation deal, the US had to help Afghanistan repulse Pakistani incursions.
If Americans refused to prevent such raids, the lawmaker suggested, the pact should be scrapped. He called for the government to take the case against Pakistan to the UN Security Council.
Fauzia Kofi from northeastern Badakhshan province claimed Pakistan had slammed 300 rockets into Nuristan over the past few days. Without going into details, she alleged some Pakistani spies were within the Karzai administration.
Noor Akbar Akbari, the chairman of the Wolesi Jirga Commission on International Affairs, said that Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul and National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta appeared before the panel on Sunday.
He quoted Rassoul as saying that effective measures were being taken to thwart the cross-border assaults. According to Akbari, the minister hinted at taking the issue to the UN Security Council.
On August 4, the lower house unseated defence and interior ministers over rocket and missile barrages from Pakistan into eastern Afghanistan.
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