Islamabad, Kabul discuss issue of Afghan-based militants attacking Pak

London [United Kingdom], Mar. 16 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, and Afghanistan's National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar discussed the issue of Afghan-based militants carrying out attacks on Pakistani soil during their meeting in London.

UK's National Security Advisor, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, hosted the two dignitaries in London.

Aziz stressed on the need for a comprehensive bilateral engagement between the two countries to rebuild trust and confidence.

The meeting was the highest level face-to-face discussion between representatives of the two countries since Islamabad closed down border crossings with Afghanistan. The meeting comes at a time when relations between the two Asian neighbours are deteriorating, reports the Dawn.

The meeting comes days after Afghanistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry summoned Pakistan's Charge d'affaires to Kabul and lodged a strong protest over the persecution of Afghan citizens residing in Pakistan and the frequent artillery shelling on Khans Kunar and Sarkano districts of Kunar province.

Mosa Arefi, the director of the first political department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while expressing concerns with regard to indiscriminate shelling and the violation of Afghan airspace by the Pakistani military helicopters along the presumed Durand Line asked the Pakistani side to immediately cease such provocative actions.

In return, Pakistan's Charge d'affaires to Kabul promised to convey Afghanistan's protest and concerns to the authorities and relevant officials of his country.

Pakistan had earlier on Monday registered protest with Afghanistan over the killing of five Pakistani soldiers by terrorists firing from Afghanistan's soil.

"Government of Pakistan has launched a strong protest with the Afghan Government over the shahadat of five Pakistani soldiers at Pakistan military post in Mohmand Agency and one soldier in Khyber agency as a result of firing by terrorists from Afghan territory," said a statement issued by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The statement added that Afghan Deputy Head of Mission was called to the Foreign Office to convey Pakistan's grave concern over the incident.

"The Afghan Government was urged to thoroughly investigate the incidents and take firm action against the terrorists operating from its soil to prevent recurrence of such incidents. It was further emphasized that cooperation from Afghan side for effective border management was important for preventing cross-border movement of terrorists and militants," the statement said. (ANI)