NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Leaders from the 201st and 203rd Afghan National Army Corps, Afghan Border Police zones 301 and 402, the 11th Pakistan Army Corps, and a delegation from Resolute Support headquarters met to discuss border security at an event hosted by Train, Advise, Assist Command – East at Operational Base Fenty, Jan. 18.
For the first time in recent years, Afghan and Pakistan corps-level commanders met and talked about the mutual benefits of building a cross-border network to root out terrorism and bring safety and security to the region. The leaders also openly discussed recent operations in their respective areas, provided intelligence assessments, and talked about future operations.
“Today’s meeting laid the foundation for a regional partnership focusing on common security objectives, and a better tomorrow for future generations,” said TAAC-E Commander U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Christopher Bentley.
All groups agreed that sharing operational plans and coordination between units is both feasible and necessary along the border. The leaders also agreed to future meetings, with the next meeting occurring possibly as early as next month. The date and location of the next meeting has yet to be finalized; however, the leaders did set a tentative agenda of improving communication between units, coordinating operational plans, and identifying specific terrorist individuals or groups operating along both sides of the border.
Pakistan Army Lt. Gen. Hidayat ur Rehman, the 11th Corps commander, said that if all parties could meet the agenda of the second meeting, they should be able to discuss the effectiveness of their combined operational plans at their third meeting.
A series of future meetings between Afghan and Pakistan security leaders is in the works, including a similar meeting scheduled this week in southern Afghanistan between other Afghan and Pakistan corps-level commanders and hosted by Train, Advise, Assist Command – South.
Both the Afghan and Pakistan governments have recently reported a desire to coordinate cross-border security. The goal of these meetings is for Afghan and Pakistan military units that regularly operate near the border to work together in a combined effort to eliminate terrorist threats while bringing security and stability to the people of the region.