US and Pakistan vow to carry forward Afghan-led reconciliation initiative | Pakistan Today

US and Pakistan vow to carry forward Afghan-led reconciliation initiative

Trilateral talks between Pakistan, United States and Afghanistan ended here on Tuesday with an agreement between all three stakeholders to carry forward cooperation and coordination for an Afghan-led reconciliation process to ensure peace, security and development in the region. The announcement was made by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jaweed Ludin and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman at a joint press conference here at the Foreign Office following the talks.
“Pakistan is looking forward to engaging deeply with the United States and Afghanistan with a view to promoting and achieving a shared objective of stability and peace within our respective countries and region as a whole,” said Salman Bashir, adding that the representatives of the three countries had in-depth conversation and agreed to work together to write a “new chapter” for progress and prosperity of their peoples.
Grossman said the end of Osama Bin Laden was a big achievement for the three countries as he had killed many innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States. “It is a long-term commitment of the United States to end extremism and we fully support progress and prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We will coordinate and cooperate with these countries and put more diplomacy behind to make Afghanistan safer,” said Grossman.
Grossman said all three stakeholders had shared a commitment to end extremism. He said the three countries thought that the killing of Osama bin Laden was a shared achievement as the al Qaeda chief violently acted against their democratic governments and killed civilians. He said the killing of Osama did not in any way alter the US’ commitment to the long-term fight against extremism and terrorism. Responding to a question about ending drone attacks in Pakistan, the US special representative said: “We should consider the purpose of the Pakistan-US counter-terrorism cooperation.”
He said thousands of Pakistani civilians and soldiers had become victims of terrorism and the coordination with Pakistan was designed to help bring safety and security to Pakistanis and Americans around the world. That was a noble goal, he added. On a question about intelligence sharing, Grossman said: “We should consult, coordinate and cooperate with each other to fight the menace of terrorism.” Ludin said the talks were held in a friendly environment.
“We have given a new impetus to our trilateral relations. Pakistan and Afghanistan are not only bound by history, geography and common heritage but also common friends like the United States,” he said. Bashir, meanwhile, dodged a question about Sunday’s Abbottabad operation that killed bin Laden, saying there was no point in getting into forensics of the operation and trying to figure out who did what. “Osama is now history and we should look forward,” he said.
Commenting on a statement of the Indian home minister about terrorism in the context of the Abbottabad operation, Bashir said: “This mindset of hurling accusations is neither realistic nor desirable. As far as Pakistan is concerned, we think that the dialogue process with India is moving on the right track and such statements are not helpful.” Grossman also called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Briefing journalists about the meeting, Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar said that matters regarding the fight against militancy, recent developments, Pak-US bilateral relations, strategic dialogues, today’s round of the Pak-US-Afghanistan tripartite talks and the emerging situation in Afghanistan were discussed during the meeting.

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