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Pakistan, Afghanistan pledge to combat terrorism together after years of mutual mistrust


KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif renewed their nations' vows on Tuesday to jointly combat the mutual threat of militant groups operating along the two countries' shared border.

Sharif led a high-level delegation to Kabul, including Pakistani army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif and the head of the country's powerful ISI intelligence agency, Gen. Rizwan Akhtar.

"Afghanistan and Pakistan should fight together to bring the security and stability and prosperity which our people want," Ghani said during a joint press conference. "The enemy of Pakistan is the enemy of Afghanistan and the enemy of Afghanistan is the enemy of Pakistan."

The two nations have had a rocky relationship for years, trading mutual accusations of harboring and supporting the other's militant groups. That relationship changed late last year following a Taliban attack on a Pakistani school that killed nearly 150 people, mostly schoolchildren. Both nations are combating branches of the militant Taliban group.

Sharif pledged that any militant group seeking to destabilize Afghanistan from Pakistani soil will be hunted down and dealt with harshly.

"Coordinated operations will be planned and conducted on mutually agreed basis to target militant hideouts along the border," he said.

Sharif also condemned the current offensive by the Afghan Taliban in the northern province of Kunduz, and endorsed Ghani's reconciliation initiative that aims to bring his country's Taliban to the negotiating table.


Associated Press writer Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed to this report.

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