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Pak PM to visit Afghanistan for border talks

The visit comes a week after Pakistan announced it would fence and mine parts of the border to stop militants from crossing over.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2007 15:05 IST

Pakistan's prime minister will visit neighboring Afghanistan a week after his government announced it would fence and mine parts of the border to stop militants from crossing over, an official said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz will visit Kabul on Thursday for talks with President Hamid Karzai and other senior Afghan officials, Pakistan's Information Minister Mohammed Ali Durrani said without giving details.

But another senior Pakistani government official said "security concerns on both sides" of the border and the Pakistani intention to secure parts of it will be high on the agenda of the scheduled discussions.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not entitled to speak to media.

Relations have soured between the neighbors, which are key US allies in its fight against terrorism.

Afghan and Western officials say militants operate from sanctuaries in Pakistan, but Islamabad insists it does all it can to stop them.

Pakistan's plan to fence and mine parts of the rugged 2,430-kilometre frontier with Afghanistan was seen as an attempt to fend off criticism it does too little to stop Taliban and Al-Qaeda guerrillas from crossing the border.

Karzai has rejected the proposed Pakistani measure, saying it will only separate people without eliminating militant sanctuaries in Pakistan.

Taliban-led insurgents have stepped up attacks in Afghanistan over the past year, triggering the worst violence since the hardline regime was ousted with US help five years ago.

Pakistani officials did not say when the mining and fence work would start.

First Published: Jan 03, 2007 13:23 IST