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Pak-Afghan top officials meet in London to ease tensions

Press Trust of India  |  London 

The has quietly hosted a meeting of top officials from and where they discussed ways to ease tensions between two countries after a series of terror attacks in Pakistan, according to a media report.

The meeting between Pakistan's Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Afghanistan's National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar was hosted by UK's National Security Adviser Sir Mark Lyall, the Dawn reported.

It is the first high level face-to-face interaction between both countries after closed border last month alleging that Afghan-based militants are mounting attacks, the report said.

Pakistan's Foreign Office has said nothing about the meeting so far.

Last month Pakistani military shelled a militant training camp on the side of the Durand Line.

Military sources had said that the militants targeted by them were from Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.

Complaining about a breach of its sovereignty, the foreign ministry said should stop all cross-border military activity.

The British Foreign Office refused to comment on the meeting in London, but it believed the three men discussed Pakistani complaints that Afghan-based militants had been mounting attacks on Pakistani soil.

has blamed the recent Lahore and Sehwan attacks on Afghan-based militants.

The is hoping to defuse tensions between the two countries, the report said.

A month after they were first closed down, official border crossings between and remain shut after the end of a two-day window that allowed some urgent medical cases to travel and enabled stranded people to get back to their homes.

Tighter physical and radar-based controls along the 1,100 km border between the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and have made it more difficult for people to cross without going through official crossing points.

The closure of the border has caused heavy financial losses for traders in both countries. depends on Pakistani ports for its imports.

Since the border closure thousands of shipping containers have been stuck in Karachi.

The meeting comes at a time when relations between the two countries are deteriorating in recent months following a series of terror attacks in which often blames Kabul for providing "safe havens" to groups carrying out cross-border attacks.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 16 2017. 15:22 IST