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Gilani expresses 'serious concern' to Karzai over latest cross-border militant attack in Pak

Islamabad, Thu, 07 Jul 2011 ANI

Islamabad, July 7ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has expressed 'serious concern' to Afghan President Hamid Karzai over cross-border raids carried out by militants from Afghanistan into Pakistani territory.


In the latest incident of such cross-border attacks, militants from Afghanistan attacked several border villages in Pakistan on Wednesday, triggering fierce gun battles with local militias, in which at least two people were reported killed, officials said.


As hundreds of militants from Afghanistan crossed the border and launched fresh attacks in Upper Dir, Gilani telephoned Karzai to discuss the situation.


"The prime minister expressed Pakistan's serious concern over the activities of the militants along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, especially in Dir, Bajaur, Mohmand (tribal agencies) on the Pakistan side and Kunar (province) on the Afghan side," The Express Tribune quoted an official handout issued by the Prime Minister's Office, as saying.


Gilani told Karzai that the Pakistan Army was exercising utmost restraint despite repeated cross-border incursions by Afghan militants into Pakistan, and added that the situation needs to be defused quickly.


Pakistan has requested the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to convene an immediate meeting for border coordination between regional commanders, the prime minister added.


Gilani also requested Karzai to ask ISAF and Afghan military commanders to join Pakistan's efforts to defuse the situation created by the militants and to avoid any further loss of life of innocent persons on both sides.


The statement said that Karzai expressed serious concern over the situation and expressed readiness to send ISAF and Afghan commanders for a meeting to defuse the situation.


He said both countries should constantly remain in touch and jointly frustrate the evil designs of the militants. "It is a trap of the militants, which can be thwarted through close coordination and understanding," Karzai insisted.


Earlier this week, Pakistan and Afghanistan had decided to establish a 'military hotline' to end border hostilities, however, border incursions remain unabated, raising tensions between Kabul and Islamabad. (ANI)


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