08 February, 2007

Afghan-Pak border arguments continue.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are continuing their exchange of diplomatic un-niceties. The latest Afghan salvo was delivered by Said T. Jawad, their ambassador to the United States. The Wall Street Journal is subscription only, but the Daily Times reports that in an article in the Journal, Jawad warmed up by writing that National Intelligence Director John Negroponte had told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Pakistan is: “a major source of Islamic extremism” and "that Al Qaeda leaders enjoy a “secure hideout” in Pakistan, while rebuilding their terrorist network and pursuing WMD." Jawad went on to aver that "terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan are the real threat to regional stability and global security. Such sanctuaries are breeding grounds for extremism and violence”; however, Pakistan's proposal to mine the border is not the answer because it will kill innocent civilians whilst doing nothing to stop the terrorists.

Associated Press of Pakistan reports that Pakistan is going ahead with the plan to mine the border and quotes a letter from the Pakistani Ambassador to the the UN which lays the blame for the Taliban problem with Afghanistan. Moreover:

Ambassador Akram said that security in Afghanistan is threatened by multiple threats from warlords, criminals, the drug mafia, inter-tribal rivalries as well as the resurgence of the Taliban.
He said that along the 22 frequented border routes where Pakistan maintains border posts, over 40,000 persons and 14,000 vehicles cross the border every day in both directions. Pakistan, he said, is planning to gradually regulate movement across the international border while respecting the 'easement' rights traditionally enjoyed by the tribal population on the two sides. He expressed the hope that the Afghan government will extend cooperation to ensure better regulation.
By now, this is familiar stuff, from both sides.

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