Pakistan, Afghan joint working groups to meet in Kabul

Islamabad: The first meeting of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Working Groups will be held in Kabul on Saturday, an official said.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua will lead the country’s delegation, Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said on Friday.

He said Islamabad had proposed five joint working groups focussing on ensuring comprehensive engagement for countering terrorism, intelligence sharing, military, economy, trade and transit interaction, refugee repatriation as well as connectivity.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of a series of deadly attacks that rattled Kabul, after which a high-level delegation from Afghanistan comprising the Interior Minister and spy chief had visited Pakistan earlier this week with a “personal message” from President Ashraf Ghani.

Afghan officials had said that their delegation handed over to Islamabad “undeniable” evidence that the spate of deadly attacks in Afghanistan were planned in Pakistan.

Faisal said “there were no terrorist safe havens anywhere in Pakistan” and also rejected accusations of Pakistani cooperation with the Haqqani network.

He stressed that Kabul should ensure better border management in order to check cross-border terrorism into Pakistan, and focus on eliminating Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) safe havens on its own territory.