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Islamabad, Kabul Form New Security Cooperation Group

Rangin Dadfar Spanta
Rangin Dadfar Spanta

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Spanta have agreed to form a working group on joint security efforts against terrorism.

The agreement was reached during a meeting in Rawalpindi between Sharif and Spanta on June 26 -- the same day Afghan President Hamid Karzai said "foreign interests" were behind a Taliban offensive in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

Several Afghan officials specifically blamed Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency for organizing that offensive and fighting alongside the Afghan Taliban.

Spanta’s office made no mention of discussing Helmand with Sharif.

But the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad said the two discussed how Afghan forces can help stop Pakistani Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters from crossing into Afghan territory to escape a Pakistani Army offensive against militants in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area.

The new working group is due to meet on July 3.

With reporting by 'Dawn'