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Pakistan , Afghanistan launch high level reconciliation commission

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, June 11, IRNA -- Pakistan and Afghanistan on Saturday launched a high level reconciliation commission and Pakistani Prime Minister assured the visiting Afghan President of his country’s full support to Afghan led peace efforts.

Addressing a joint press conference Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said that Afghanistan and Pakistan held the first meeting of the commission, aiming to fight terrorism.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressing his views called for enhancing Pak-Afghan relationship. He stressed the need for practical steps for effective working of joint commission.

“We hope that the sub-committee of the commission will be meeting in the month of October”, he added.

Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani during the press briefing said that Pakistan was ready to do anything for peace in Afghanistan as a stable Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan.

He said Pakistan and Afghanistan have been enjoying cordial relations and called for frequent interaction between the officials of the both the countries to further enhance Pak-Afghan ties.

“We had constructive, useful talks on peace, stability and development in Afghanistan”, said the Pakistani Prime Minister.

He believed that there is q tremendous potential in energy infrastructure, trade and people to people contact. He described the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistani, India (TAPI) project as extremely important for region and asked for speedy completion of the project.

The Pakistan Prime Minister said that that there is no substitute to mutual cooperation for overcoming terrorism. “Terrorism and extremism are perils confronting Pakistan, Afghanistan”, said Yusuf Raza Gilani.

He said that he two sides affirmed their resolve to work closely together for reconciliation and peace, in holistic and comprehensive manner.

“Both sides emphasized the importance of continued close consultation and coordination on peace in Afghanistan, particularly in realizing the goal of a peaceful and prosperous region free of a terror and militancy,” he said.

He said that Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to intensify intelligence–intelligence and military-military cooperation and to hold separate military and intelligence meetings whenever required.

Gilani said that Jalalabad would be connected with Peshawar by rail, adding that defence officials of both countries participated in the conciliation commission. He invited businessmen to invest in Pak-Afghan joint projects.

Karzai said that it was his 12th visit to Pakistan and relations between the two countries consolidated on every visit.

He said that the conciliation commission meeting would be called on monthly basis.

Answering to a question Karzai said that attacks in Pakistani areas of Bajaur and Dir are worrisome and are being investigated.

He said due to shortage of time he was not able to meet with former Pakistani Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif. Karzai said that he wanted to go to Murree, but did not want to bother tourists.

Karzai to a question said that Afghan army would take up security of the country in 2014 after complete withdrawal of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

He said Pak-Afghan cooperation was necessary for regional peace.

Yusuf Raza Gilani replying to a question said that Afghanistan peace commission has the backing of Afghan government, 'We both want stability and peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan.'

“Independent, stable and sovereign Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan”, he said.

Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who heads Karzai’s High Council for Peace, Afghan Interior Minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi, Afghan Foreign Minsiter Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Pakistan Information Minister Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Minister of Commerce Amin Fahim, Finance Minister Hafiz A Sheikh and Hina Rabbani Khar, State Minister for Foreign Affairs also attended the press briefing.

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Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30426716



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