Afghan, Pakistani leaders meet after air strike allegation

The leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan promised to work together on regional security in a face-to-face meeting on Friday, one day after Kabul accused the Pakistani military of carrying out a rare air strike on its side of the border.

Afghanistan on Thursday accused Pakistan of strikes causing “huge financial damages” in a province bordering Pakistan. Pakistan responded that its security forces were countering Afghan-based militant groups on its own side of the border.

The row highlighted long-standing mistrust between the neighbors that centers on mutual accusations that the other country does not adequately prevent cross-border militant attacks.

But Friday’s previously scheduled visit by Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul included “cordial and friendly” talks, Abbasi’s office said in a statement.

It said the leaders agreed on a common aim of regional security.

Ghani, in a statement, said he raised the issue of border violations with Abbasi and stressed that the situation was not helpful to either side.

A day earlier, Afghanistan alleged that Pakistan jets had dropped four bombs in the Afghan border province of Kunar, and warned that such strikes could damage relations.

Such an incident is a rare departure from the norm of cross-border shelling, said Thomas Ruttig, co-director of Afghanistan Analysts Network. But Ruttig said it did not appear to damage relations greatly, since Ghani did not cancel the meeting.

The strikes did not cause any deaths or injuries, said Faridullah Dehqan, spokesman for Kunar police.

Afghanistan’s Western-backed government has long accused Pakistan of harboring Afghan Taliban insurgents, a charge that Islamabad denies.

Islamabad, in turn, accuses Afghanistan of not doing enough to eradicate Pakistani Taliban militants, many of whom are based in Afghanistan and mostly carry out attacks inside Pakistan.

Rafiuzzaman Sifat

Md. Rafiuzzaman Sifat, a CSE graduate turned into journalist, works at News Hour as a staff reporter. He has many years of experience in featured writing in different Bangladeshi newspapers. He is an active blogger, story writer and social network activist. He published a book named 'Se Amar Gopon' inEkushe boi mela Dhaka 2016. Sifat got a BSc. from Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh. He also works as an Engineer at Bangla Trac Communications Ltd. As an avid traveler and a gourmet food aficionado, he is active in publishing restaurant reviews and cutting-edge articles about culinary culture.
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