Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asian States, and the US officials draw joint strategy to counter terrorism

No representatives from Afghanistan's regional neighbors — India, Iran, China, and Russia — were present during the meeting.

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U.S. soldiers in Wardak province, Afghanistan. (Thomas Watkins / AFP via Getty Images file)

Counterterrorism officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United States, and Central Asian states have drawn a roadmap to address threats jointly and speed up intelligence sharing.

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The officials met in Kabul earlier this week for the two-day “Regional Conference on Campaign Against Terrorism.”

According to the Afghan Directorate of National Security (NDS), the conference had representatives from the US, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and five Central Asian states and delegates from Azerbaijan.

No representatives from Afghanistan’s regional neighbors — India, Iran, China, and Russia — were present during the meeting.

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“A roadmap for preclusion of joint threats from terroristic activities was drawn, and an agreement was reached on identifying joint security threats and taking measures against their annihilation, speeding up the exchange of information among the services,” the NDS said.

“Participants of this meeting focused on joint threats of terrorism on a national, regional and international level.”

The meeting comes as Taliban attacks are on the rise in Afghanistan.

Likewise, Kabul is putting pressure on the new US administration to renegotiate last year’s Washington-Taliban deal to withdraw all NATO troops from Afghanistan by the end of April.

Under the accord signed in Doha, Qatar, in February, the Taliban pledged to cut ties with all militant groups, including Al-Qaeda.

Nevertheless, authorities in Kabul, as well as NATO and US officials, have in recent months repeatedly said that the group had not fulfilled the pledge.

“We wanted to show to our neighbors that Afghanistan is on the frontline of the war on terrorism and that if you do not side with us in this campaign, you will also face similar threats like us,” a security source told Arab News on condition of anonymity.

“They welcomed our views, and such meetings will be held in the future too,” the source said.

Wahidullah Ghazikhail of the Afghan Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ACSSR) said the meeting of counterterrorism and intelligence officials in Kabul was a “good step and should have been made a long time ago.”

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