Pakistan and Afghanistan on Thursday agreed to work out a ‘joint security plan’ to ensure peace on the border following the withdrawal of US-led foreign troops from the war-torn country in 2014.
Both countries shared proposals in this regard during a five-day visit of Afghan Defence Minister General Bismillah Khan and his delegation to Islamabad that concluded on January 31. Senior Afghan officials accompanied the minister during the visit.
The visit was aimed at forging close defence ties with Pakistan. Pakistani officials’ privy to the high-level military consultations said it was by all means a successful trip.
They also said during the talks both sides decided to devise a joint and comprehensive plan for border security following the US troops’ withdrawal to tackle the threat of terrorism and militancy in the border regions.
Seeking anonymity, a senior official said, “Under the plan, for which the two states shared their proposals in Islamabad, the border security arrangements would be gradually taken over by Pakistani and Afghan security forces and the role of the US-led NATO forces would be reduced to naught in the months to come.”
He said that the border security plan, once put in place, would not only help in maintaining peace in the border regions on both sides of Pak-Afghan frontier but it would also have positive impact on the security situation in other areas.
The official said Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani and other army officials assured the Afghan delegation that Pakistan would take all possible steps to ensure peace and stability in the border regions, adding that this would help in tackling militancy in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO troops by the end of 2014.
Another official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Islamabad and Kabul had decided to increase the level of coordination between Pakistani security forces and the Afghan border troops.
He said that the two neighbouring countries would also have the military training exchanges and Pakistani security forces were ready to impart training to the Afghan army. “The Afghan officials could go to our military training institutions which are best in the region and in the world,” he said.
He said that Pakistan was moving ahead with the vision of a broad-based relationship with Afghanistan and the successful trip of General Bismillah Khan, a Tajik by origin, was its proof.
A statement issued by the ISPR read that during the visit the six-member Afghan delegation visited various military education and training institutions, including the National Defence University (NDU), the Command and Staff College Quetta, the School of Infantry and Tactics Quetta, the Pakistan Military Academy Kakul, the National University of Modern Language (NUML), the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) where they witnessed various training activities.
The delegation also visited the Pakistan Ordnance Factory Wah and Special Operational School (SOS) Cherat. The Afghan defence minister also witnessed different training activities in the field near Jhelum.
“Training for conduct of operations against militancy was also part of these exercises. The delegation appreciated the high standard of training displayed by participating troops. They underscored the significance of operational preparedness against the entire threat spectrum,” the statement concluded.
Source: South Asian Media Net