Pakistan says it is open to joint Afghan border patrols
By MUNIR AHMED, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s prime minister on Tuesday said his country was willing to set up joint patrols with Afghanistan to combat militants along their porous border.
His remarks came weeks after President Donald Trump called on Pakistan to do more to eliminate militant sanctuaries, a longstanding U.S. demand.
“We are open for joint patrolling, we are open for joint posts” along the border with Afghanistan, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told reporters in Islamabad. He denied Pakistan was harboring militants, insisting it was “fighting agents of chaos.”
U.S. officials and independent analysts have long accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye to militants battling U.S. forces in Afghanistan, even as it cracks down on other militant groups that target its own citizens. Pakistan has denied those allegations, and says militants have launched attacks against it from the Afghan side of the border.
“All the criminal elements we are fighting are based in Afghanistan,” Abbasi said.
Trump called on Pakistan to eliminate militant sanctuaries in a speech laying out a new strategy to try and win the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan. Pakistan maintains close ties to the Afghan Taliban, but says it uses what limited influence it has to support Afghan-led peace efforts.
Abbasi said his government has yet to receive any specific demands from the Trump administration, adding that Pakistan would act on any information shared by U.S. authorities.