Pakistan says it is sending up to 10,000 more troops to strengthen security along the porous border with Afghanistan and check militant infiltration. The move was announced after a meeting between President Pervez Musharraf and U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Islamabad Tuesday.
Secretary Condoleezza Rice met with President Musharraf to discuss how the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan can better coordinate their efforts in the fight against Taleban and al-Qaida.
The meeting took place amid growing tensions between Pakistani and Afghan leaders over accusations the Taleban insurgency is being run from Pakistani territory.
Speaking to reporters after her talks with Pakistani leaders, the top U.S diplomat praised Islamabad's anti-terror efforts. She said Pakistan has promised to send thousands of fresh troops to strengthen border security. "What we are all trying to do is to commit as strongly as we can to the [anti-terror] activities, which make it ultimately impossible for al-Qaida and Taleban to operate on that border. We [U.S], Afghanistan and Pakistan are going to unify all of our efforts as we have done over the last several years toward the goal of eliminating the threat from al-Qaida and the Taleban," she said.
Pakistani foreign minister Kursheed Kasuri at the news conference rejected Afghan allegations that Taleban insurgents are hiding in Pakistan, saying that his country has already deployed more than 80,000 troops to check such activities. He challenged Afghan leaders to prove that the militants have taken refuge in Pakistan. "Have you [Afghanistan] ever given us actionable intelligence? Tell us they are hiding in such and such a place. Tell us where they are hiding, we promise to investigate and take action," he said.
There has been a dramatic increase in violence, especially in southern Afghanistan, with more than 1,000 people killed since January this year.
The Taleban-led resurgence comes as the U.S-led coalition prepares to transfer command of southern Afghanistan to NATO-led peacekeepers at the end of next month.
Secretary Rice says that in her meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Wednesday she will reiterate America's support for his government and efforts to reconstruct Afghanistan.