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UN envoy in Islamabad to reduce Pakistan-Afghan tension

IANS | Islamabad |

A United Nation special envoy arrived in Pakistan on Monday to reduce tensions between Islamabad and Kabul following a surge of terrorist attacks in the country that claimed over 100 lives in a few days.

UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto met Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi and discussed the "situation in Afghanistan and efforts for promoting long-term peace and stability in that country," said a Foreign Ministry statement.

Pakistani military said it has targeted hideouts of a Pakistani Taliban group on the "Afghan side of the border", which had claimed responsibility for several attacks.

The Pakistani authorities also closed its border with Afghanistan. Reports suggest troops of the two countries have exchanged fire over the past two days.

Emphasising that Pakistan desires lasting peace in Afghanistan, Fatemi highlighted Pakistan's continued efforts for strengthening engagement with the Afghan government to enhance cooperation in diverse areas, including fight against terrorism, the ministry said.

He reiterated Pakistan's firm resolve for effective border management, underlining the need for cooperation by the Afghan side.

The Foreign Ministry's statement did not mention the current tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but diplomatic sources said that reducing the tension was on a key agenda point. 

Fatemi stressed the importance of a politically negotiated settlement as the most viable option for peace and stability in Afghanistan, for which Quadrilateral Coordination Group remained an effective forum.

Expressing appreciation for Pakistan's positive role for promoting durable peace and stability in Afghanistan, Yamamoto apprised Fatemi about various activities being undertaken by the UN for peace and development in Afghanistan.