A special UN envoy for Afghanistan on Monday met a top aide of Pakistan Prime Minister and discussed ways to reduce the tension between the two neighbours after Islamabad blamed Afghan-based militants for a series of deadly attacks in the country. United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi at Islamabad, amid reports that Pakistan has moved heavy artillery towards Chaman and Torkham districts close to the Afghan border.
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Their discussion focused on the situation in Afghanistan and efforts to promote peace and stability in that country, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said in a statement.
Fatemi reiterated Pakistan’s resolve for effective border management “underlining the need for cooperation by the Afghan side”.
The meeting comes amid a rise in tension between the two countries after terrorists attacks this month claimed more than 100 lives in Pakistan and unsettled the establishment.
The latest of the attacks on Thursday targeted a famed Sufi shrine in Sindh province, killing 88 people. The army in retaliation claimed it killed at least 130 suspected militants across the country, but offered no details about the campaign.
Pakistan has blamed terrorists hiding across the border in Afghanistan for the attacks. It has also shut down a border trading point with Afghanistan.
Last week, Sharif’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz telephoned Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar and asked him to take action against militants on Afghan soil.
Pakistan also summoned the officials of Afghan embassy in Islamabad following the shrine attack and handed them a list of 76 “most wanted” terrorists, demanding immediate action.
Fatemi, however, today told the UN special envoy that Pakistan desires lasting peace in Afghanistan. He called for a politically-negotiated settlement and described it as the “most viable option for peace and stability in Afghanistan”.