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Afghan Delegation Heads to Pakistan for Talks on Militants

FILE - Salahuddin Rabbani speaking during an interview in Kabul, June 27, 2012.

Afghan officials say that a high-level delegation led by Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani will visit Pakistan on Thursday to demand the neighbor uproot anti-Afghanistan militant bases there.

Sayed Zafar Hashimi, a presidential spokesman, told VOA the Afghan acting defense minister and the country’s spy chief will also accompany Rabbani in what he says will be “comprehensive” discussions with Pakistani counterparts.

“We would demand that Pakistan must move against groups holding gatherings inside Pakistan and declaring war against the people of Afghanistan,” he said.

President Ashraf Ghani this week alleged that some of the attacks in the Afghan capital within the past week were “designed and planned by terrorist groups in Pakistan.” He added that “bomb-making factories and training camps” on Pakistani soil continue to send “mercenaries” across the border to kill Afghans.

The Afghan president insisted “we hope for peace but received a message of war from the neighboring country." Key Taliban leaders and commanders have allegedly taken refuge in Pakistan.

Islamabad denied Ghani’s charges and reiterated it wants to work together with Kabul to counter terrorism and promote Afghan peace and reconciliation.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Tuesday he wants "cordial and cooperative" ties with Kabul.