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Pakistan calls for end to "blame game" at Afghan-Pak-US talks

Kabul, Wed, 29 Jun 2011 ANI

Kabul, June 29(ANI): Pakistan has called for an end to the "blame game" and stressed the need "to take ownership for our own affairs" as the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan met in Kabul to review the security situation in the region amid Taliban insurgency and increased tensions over cross border shelling.


"We need to end this blame-game," The Nation quoted Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, as telling a news conference after a trilateral meeting in Kabul, without making any specific reference to border shelling.


"We need to take ownership for our own affairs, this problem will not go away if we keep on pointing finger at each other, we have done it for too long and I think it is time that our two great nations decide," he added.


On Sunday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai had accused Pakistan of firing 470 rockets into in areas of Kunar and Nangahar provinces over the past three weeks, which reportedly killed 36 people, including 12 children.


Afghan border police spokesman Edris Mohmand, who reported that 36 Afghans- including 12 children- were killed by the rockets fired into two eastern Afghan provinces, had said: "All these attacks have been from Pakistan's side and for sure they are Pakistani weapons being used against innocent Afghans."


"The border police in the eastern region have been equipped with heavy artillery but we are waiting for orders from the Interior Minister," Mohmand added.


Karzai had also indicated that Pakistani government forces were responsible for the bombardment, and added that "they should be stopped immediately."


"If they are not being carried out by Pakistan, Pakistan should make it clear who is behind the attacks," Karzai was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the presidential palace.


A day later, Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said that no rounds had been intentionally fired into Afghanistan.


He said it was possible that a few rounds may have accidentally fallen into Afghanistan when security forces targeted militants carrying out cross-border attacks inside Pakistan. (ANI)


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