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Pakistan Asks Afghanistan to ‘Eliminate Terror Sanctuaries’

ISLAMABAD (IANS) Pakistan Thursday reiterated its call on neighbouring Afghanistan to eliminate “hideouts of the Pakistani militants on the Afghan side of the border”.

Security officials insist that Pakistani Taliban leaders, who have fled the country as a result of ongoing military operations, now operate from the Afghan border regions.

On Tuesday, the military said a group of 90 to 100 militants from Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika province attacked a border post in North Waziristan and killed four paramilitary troopers.

The Pakistan foreign ministry Wednesday summoned the Afghan charge d’ affaires and a protest was lodged regarding the attack.

A foreign ministry spokesperson told reporters in Islamabad Thursday that Pakistan had lodged a formal protest after the attack from Afghanistan into Pakistani territory from across the international border.

“We have asked Afghanistan in very clear and categorical terms to eliminate the terrorist sanctuaries that have taken root in Afghanistan in various provinces there,” foreign ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said in her weekly briefing.

On its part, Afghanistan also claims that rockets are fired into its border areas from the Pakistani side of the border. Kabul also alleges that Afghan Taliban are hiding in Pakistan, a charge denied by Islamabad.

The foreign ministry spokesperson avoided a response to recent Afghan allegations that Pakistani intelligence agencies were “sending fighters to Afghanistan”.

“Pakistan is a mature country. We are a very important country, we have to behave in a mature manner. It does not behove us to respond to all baseless allegations,” she said.

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