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Pakistan, Afghanistan kick start key anti-terror talks

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Senior Pakistani and Afghan officials opened two-day talks in Islamabad on Friday to explore ways for enhancing cooperation in different areas, focusing on anti-terror cooperation, officials and diplomats said.

Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai is leading a high level delegation in the talks, which is the second round of joint working groups in a week.

The first round was held in Kabul on Feb. 3 despite tensions in the wake of the deadliest Taliban-claimed attacks in Kabul on Jan. 20 and Jan. 27, which had killed nearly 125 people and injured over 250.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua led a high level Pakistani delegation of senior civilian and military officials in the Friday's session, a foreign ministry official said.

The discussion is taking place under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) - a joint action plan for cooperation in the key areas of counter-terrorism and reduction of violence, peace and reconciliation, refugees' repatriation and joint economic development.

The talks, which started at the Foreign Ministry in the afternoon, will also continue on Saturday. A joint statement will be issued at the conclusion of the talks.

As a goodwill gesture, Pakistan had offered joint investigation into the Kabul's attacks that Kabul had blamed on the Haqqani Network.

Afghan Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak and intelligence chief Masoom Stanekzai, who had visited Islamabad on Jan. 31, had stated they had "shared information" with the Pakistani officials about the Kabul attacks.

Afghan embassy sources say the Afghan side will like to listen to Pakistani side about the offer to cooperate in the investigation into the Kabul's attacks.

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