Kayani, Allen Lock Horns Over Cross-Border Incursions
Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) Commander General John Allen met Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani last week to discuss prospects for greater Pak-Afghan border coordination as well as the contentious issue of cross-border attacks carried out by militants. Sources say the two officers sparred over the Haqqani group, Nato supplies and cross-border raids into Pakistan.
General John Allen, who commands more than 130,000 Nato troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, flew into Chaklala air base amid strained relations between Islamabad and Washington and went straight into the talks with General Kayani at the latter's Rawalpindi headquarters, before jetting out of the country, officials said. While there was no immediate comment from Isaf, a Pakistani official disclosed that General Kayani had demanded greater efforts from the Americans to stop cross-border incursions.
According to sources, the army chief told General Allen that militants returned to Afghanistan and roamed freely in the war-torn country after launching attacks on Pakistani forces. He further asked the Nato general to take action against the Maulvi Fazlullah-led branch of militants.
General John Allen, meanwhile, insisted that Pakistan tackle the Haqqani group. He argued that Maulvi Fazlullah was involved in terrorist activities in Afghanistan and was operating from Pakistan's tribal areas.
The two commanders also discussed the possible option of carrying out a military operation in North Waziristan against so-called terror training camps. "It was a routine meeting to discuss border co-ordination," a senior Pakistani military official told reporters. "We also raised the issue of cross-border attacks on the Pakistan military from Afghanistan. We demanded that Isaf take action against militant sanctuaries in Afghanistan and eliminate the militant groups involved in cross-border attacks inside Pakistan," he added.