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The spokesman of the Pakistani military, Major General Asif Ghafoor has said that the attacks in Quetta and Parachinar are linked to hideouts located in Afghanistan.

The country was shaken by three attacks on the last Friday of the month of Ramzan. A suicide blast in Quetta took out 13 innocent lives; while twin blasts in Kurram Agency’s Parachinar resulted in more than 30 casualties. Moreover, armed assailants martyred four policemen in Karachi.

“Stringent action” will be taken against “illegal border-crossers”, he stressed.

The DG ISPR tweeted: “Recent terrorist incidents linked to sanctuaries across [the Pak-Afghan border].”

“Stringent action” will be taken against “illegal border-crossers”, he stressed.

Read more: Chinese mediation to end Pakistan-Afghanistan animosity

The two-star general added in his tweet that security and surveillance will be enhanced on the Af-Pak border.

Earlier, General Asif quoted  Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, said that security would be tightened and search operations carried out across the country after the attacks.

“”Security tightened across the country. Special Intelligence Based Operations and search operations launched in coordination with intelligence and other law enforcement agencies,” he tweeted.

He further quoted the COAS saying that the enemies are out to disrupt the joyous mood of the nation just before Eid but they won’t succeed.

 Ties reaching lower ebbs

The situation in Afghanistan is in tatters. The Taliban and the ISIS for that matter are having many last laughs while facing-off the Afghan security forces. Kabul accuses Pakistan of this trouble ably supported by the US, who is all set to ramp up pressure on Pakistan for its alleged inaction against the Haqqani Network.

Pakistan, it must be recalled has carried out large-scale military operations and have cleared sanctuaries from its soil, remnants of which are being cleared by a series of IBOs under the umbrella of Radd-Ul-Fassad.

Earlier this week Pakistan refuted all Afghan and US allegations. In a debate on Afghanistan at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Pakistan’s Permanent Representative, Maleeha Lodhi said: “the resilience of the insurgency led by the Taliban cannot be explained away by convenient references to external ‘safe havens’ or ‘support centers.”

Alluding to the successes of military operations in Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-Ul-Fassad, Maleeha said that Pakistan is committed to not allowing its soil to be used by terrorists. Pakistan, it must be recalled has carried out large-scale military operations and have cleared sanctuaries from its soil, remnants of which are being cleared by a series of IBOs under the umbrella of Radd-Ul-Fassad.

Read more: With rising trouble in Afghanistan, US Congressman calls to ‘strike’ Pakistan

Relations between the two countries have turned sour since Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accused Pakistan of waging an ‘undeclared war of aggression’ against Afghanistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan have long accused each other of turning a blind eye to militants operating along their porous border.

As the US is set to put more pressure on Pakistan by a combination of policy options, Islamabad needs to robustly put across its point to both Washington and Kabul. It is becoming increasingly obvious that even the impending troop surge would not weaken the resolve of the Afghan Taliban.

Pakistan has tried to engage Afghanistan at the diplomatic, military and political levels over the past few months but Afghanistan has upped the verbal tirade against Pakistan. President Ghani declined to visit Pakistan while its ties with India are improving. Both Kabul and Delhi kick started their air corridor earlier this week.

Pakistan, whose Afghan policy hinges around a fear of Indian domination on both its flanks is rather uneasy with this growing closeness.

As the US is set to put more pressure on Pakistan by a combination of policy options, Islamabad needs to robustly put across its point to both Washington and Kabul. It is becoming increasingly obvious that even the impending troop surge would not weaken the resolve of the Afghan Taliban. Top US officials have also made statements to the effect and have called upon eliciting more support from Pakistan.

Given the saliency of the situation, neither Af-Pak nor Pak-US ties can afford to go from bad to worse. Cooperation and understanding will be indispensable, to say the least.

US officials earlier this week called Pakistan an important ally and one that can bring  Taliban to the talking table. Pakistan is an ally on counterterrorism issues and will be essential for bringing the Afghan Taliban to the table for peace talks, says acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Tina Kaidanow.

Read more: Will US acknowledgement of Pakistan’s concerns over Indian influence in Afghanistan…

Adding to it was US State Department’s spokesperson, Heather Nauert. “He said “the United States and Pakistan have a close partnership on regional peace, security, prosperity, and stability. And we continue to work with the government of Pakistan on areas — many areas of mutual interest, including counterterrorism.”

Given the saliency of the situation, neither Af-Pak nor Pak-US ties can afford to go from bad to worse. Cooperation and understanding will be indispensable, to say the least.

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