Islamabad, September 18
Amid heightened tensions at their borders, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has written to his Afghan counterpart Mullah Muhammad Hasan Akhund that the two countries should work together to achieve common goals, a media report said on Monday.
“Pakistan has close fraternal relations with Afghanistan as we are neighbours and brothers. Pakistan-Afghanistan relations are rooted in religion, culture and history,” The News International newspaper reported on Monday.
Kakar’s letter to Afghanistan’s interim Prime Minister comes amid the heightened tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan due to rising cross-border attacks on Pakistani soil, it said.
Islamabad blames the Afghan Taliban for supporting Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a dreaded militant group fighting to impose the law of Sharia across Pakistan, which frequently carries out attacks in cash-strapped Pakistan.
Kakar said that Islamabad was determined to further strengthen bilateral, political, security, and economic relations with Kabul.
Last week, Pakistan also accused the interim Afghanistan government of misusing the transit trade agreement.
“It is important for our customs authorities to ensure that any border trade that takes place complies with the understandings and agreements that exist between Pakistan and Afghanistan and that such commercial activities do not contravene Pakistani laws,” the Foreign Office cited the letter as saying.
The Foreign Office said the trade between both countries was on the rise, calling it an established fact and added that the activity has grown because Pakistan facilitated trade with Afghanistan.
The comments came following the September 6 clash between the security forces of the two countries, which left a Pakistani Frontier Corps soldier injured. This led to the closure of the key Torkham border for over a week.
Kakar has said that Pakistan was playing its part in ensuring durable peace in Afghanistan and was engaged with the Afghan Taliban and the international community at all the relevant forums.
Kakar said the Taliban had made a commitment under the Doha agreement that Afghan soil would not be used against any country for terrorism, adding that they were addressing Afghan transit issues including illegal trade.
The premier said trade ties were not only improving with Afghanistan but also with all the Central Asian Republics as they all realised the significance of regional trade connectivity.
Speaking about the terrorist attacks from Afghan soil, Kakar said Pakistan reserved the right to defend against any terrorist activity and would take necessary steps to defend its people and land whenever needed.
However, when the time arises, Pakistan will make appropriate decisions on the issue, he said.
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