Waziristan operation in Afghanistan’s interest: Azimi
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Tuesday said the Pakistan Army’s operation against militant hideouts in North Waziristan region was in the interest of Afghanistan and the entire region.
MoD spokesman Gen Zahir Azimi told Pajhwok Afghan News the existence of militants in North Waziristan near the Afghanistan border was a big threat to the region and the world.
He said the Afghan National Army (ANA) troops, in cooperation with all other Afghan forces, were working to protect the Durand Line and border areas with Pakistan.
However, he suggested Afghan and Pakistani forces should jointly eliminate militants in the border region because Afghanistan alone could not deal with the heavy job.
About Pakistan’s request for sealing the Durand Line, Azimi said Islamabad wanted to shift its responsibility to Kabul.
Pakistan’s Premier Nawaz Sharif discussed with President Karzai the latest military offensive in North Waziristan tribal region over the telephone and demanded Kabul's help.
Azimi said the Afghan government would send additional forces to protect the border if needed.
Meanwhile, military expert Abdul Wahid Taqat said mostly civilians had suffered casualties instead of Taliban during Pakistan’s operation in North Waziristan because militants had already fled to other areas.
Taqat believed the escaped Taliban would return to Waziristan once the operation there had finished.
He said the military action in the tribal region could produce positive results if conducted in cooperation with NATO and Afghan forces under a manageable plan.
A Pakistani delegation would visit Kabul soon to discuss ways of protecting local population in the border region.
NATO top commander in Kabul US Gen. Joseph Dunford on Tuesday said surveillance over the Afghanistan-Pakistani border had been increased since the operation began in Waziristan.
"The Afghan forces as well as our forces are fully prepared to deal with the second-order effects of the Pakistani operations in North Waziristan," he told a foreign news agency during an interview.
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