GUY RAZ, Host:
From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz sitting in for Andrea Seabrook.
In Pakistan, the government and the Taliban are trying to work out a peace deal. Today the leader of the Taliban vowed to keep fighting NATO and American forces in neighboring Afghanistan, even if there is peace in Pakistan. The NATO troops in Afghanistan say those negotiations are already having an impact. But as NPR's Ivan Watson reports now, the news isn't good.
IVAN WATSON: Officials with the NATO alliance say over the past three to four weeks Taliban attacks along Afghanistan's eastern border have jumped from 60 to 100 incidents a week. A spokesman for the NATO-led coalition here says the spike in insurgent attacks is the result of decreased activity by the Pakistani army on the Pakistani side of the border.
There the Pakistan government has been negotiating ceasefire agreements with Taliban militants. Islamabad hopes to bring an end to more then a year of bloody fighting in Pakistan's troubled border regions.
Today a Taliban commander in Pakistan named Baitullah Mehsud a called for an end to the war with the Pakistani government. But, he told journalists, Islam does not recognize frontiers. Jihad in Afghanistan, he added, will continue.
That's an ominous warning to the shaky Western-backed Afghan government and to the NATO-led force of some 70,000 foreign soldiers currently deployed in Afghanistan. NATO's top commander, General John Craddock, says he worries about the border with Pakistan.
M: If the safe haven is not taken away, whenever the insurgents are under duress, then they can leave, reconstitute and come back at the time of their choosing.
WATSON: The United Nations estimates last year more than 8,000 people were killed last year by the conflict in Afghanistan.
Ivan Watson, NPR News, Kabul.
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