Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday said Afghan President Hamid Karzai had agreed to share his peace plan with Pakistan, however, no information has been shared with Islamabad so far.
“Once the information is provided, a decision will be taken on how Pakistan can cooperate,” Gilani told office-bearers of the Diplomatic Correspondent Association of Pakistan (CAP) at Prime Minister’s House.
“The Afghan leadership has yet to share its new initiative of dialogue process with the US and Pakistan. Pakistan must be involved in the negotiation process as it is part of the solution to the Afghan problem. Without involving Pakistan, any negotiation process can’t be succeeded. Pakistan is part of the solution to Afghan issue and not the problem,” Gilani said.
On negotiations with the Taliban, the prime minister said although Pakistan wanted Afghanistan to lead any such process, Islamabad should be involved in it. “Pakistan has high stakes in Afghanistan’s stability, unity, territorial integrity and prosperity,” he said.
“We support efforts for promoting an Afghan-led and Afghan-driven reconciliation process. Without peace in Afghanistan, there can be no peace in our region,” he emphasised. “We have signed on to a joint vision for the two countries and the region, one that places primacy on economic development,” he added.
However, Gilani for the first time trashed the Af-Pak concept, saying, “The concept is inherently flawed. We have strongly rejected such a concept,” he asserted. Nuclear civil deal: On the civil nuclear deal with the US, the prime minister said Pakistan had made a formal demand to Washington for cooperation in civil nuclear technology on the pattern of the US-India nuclear deal.
“Pakistan is pursuing strategic dialogue with the US on the basis of mutual respect and its national interests. The US recognises the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan during the war on terror and this was reiterated during the dialogue between President Barack Obama and the Pakistani delegation in Washington,” he added.
To a question about increasing drone attacks inside Pakistan, the prime minister said the previous government had allowed the use of drones for surveillance only and not for attacks. He also contradicted reports that Pakistan had provided any base to the US to operate these drones. The US has been told in categorical terms that drone attacks were counter-productive, he said.
Linking regional peace with “sincere dialogue” between India and Pakistan, Gilani said peace could only be achieved through resolving longstanding issues. He said dialogue was the only way forward but expressed his disappointment that the promises made about resumption of dialogue had not been honoured mainly because of internal pressure on the Indian prime minister.