Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday vowed that he would not allow his country’s soil to be used against Pakistan, as he joined Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to inaugurate the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Commission for Reconciliation and Peace in Afghanistan.
The two leaders were also joined by Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council. Later, both sides signed the Islamabad Declaration and issued a joint statement.
“The leaders reaffirmed their resolve to work together for ensuring durable peace, security and stability and eliminating the menace of terrorism and militancy,” the joint declaration said, adding that they agreed to initiate consultations with other interested states to establish transit trade and facilitation mechanisms and arrangements, which would enable their Central Asian neighbours to use overland routes through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the world.
Resolve: Later, addressing a joint press conference, Prime Minister Gilani and President Karzai affirmed their resolve to “work closely” for reconciliation and peace “in a holistic and comprehensive manner”.
The two leaders earlier held a one-on-one meeting followed by delegation level talks that focused on the transition phase with the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan from July.
Calling the talks “useful and constructive”, Gilani said the dialogue focused on a number of issues, including stability, peace, prosperity and development in Afghanistan and the wider region. He said terrorism had held progress of both the countries hostage for years and it is necessary to address the issue through joint strategy.
Gilani said it was high time Pakistan and Afghanistan make joint efforts to counter terrorism and radicalism. He said the two countries have agreed to develop framework agreements in order to translate this potential into concrete projects.
He said Pakistan-Afghanistan-US cooperation for peace in the region was indispensable and the trilateral engagement would be pursued in the future.
He hoped that the platform of the Joint Commission for Reconciliation and Peace in Afghanistan would facilitate exchange of views on cooperation and coordination and accelerate the pace of reconciliation process. President Karzai called his visit “very important” and a step towards further enhancing the Pak Afghan relations.
“Afghanistan and Pakistan have moved many steps forward in their tremendous efforts for regional peace,” he said. He hoped that the Pak-Afghan Joint Commission would prove a milestone in achieving the goals of peace in both the countries. He said the subcommittee of the commission would meet monthly while its plenary session would take place in October.
On withdrawal of the US and ISAF forces from Afghanistan, Karzai said his country was aware of the withdrawal schedule. The US troops would complete their transit plan by 2014 with the Afghan forces taking over full responsibility of protecting their territory. However, he added, some US troops would stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 and a proposal in that regard was being discussed between the two countries.
Both Gilani and Karzai parried successive questions raised by reporters on whether or not both sides had discussed to launch reconciliatory efforts with Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of Haqqani network. Both responded in detail when asked whether the government had pushed the Afghan leader not to visit PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif. Asked whether the government had managed to cancel the possible meeting, the Afghan leader said he had gladly accepted the invitation for the meeting from the PML-N, which, however, could not materialise due to his pressing engagements.
He said Nawaz Sharif had invited him to visit Lahore but he could not do so because of his tight schedule. However, he said would visit the provincial capital of Punjab on his next trip to Pakistan and would also visit Mazar-e-Iqbal in Lahore. He said he had also cancelled his visit to Murree.
Agreement: Meanwhile, the formal launch of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement was withheld at the last minute over a notification dispute between the Ministry of Commerce and Federal Board of Revenue that remained unresolved until this report was filed.
An official source said FBR refused to issue the customs rules for APTTA until they received a notification from the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) notifying that the accord had been operationalised. However, a source in the Commerce Ministry said the ministry had refused issuing a notification as the treaty had been already ratified by the president mentioning its date of operation from June 12.
There was no need for any notification by the ministry and FBR had to notify its custom rules based upon the notification, the source said.
Our soil is being used for forty years for Afghanistan.For whom drones,thousands of Raymond Davis,CIA extensive networks,hundred of thousands containers that pass though Pakistan land,air bases USA,UK,NATO use is used, for Afghanistan for now eleven years.You still say Afghanistan soil will not be used against Pakistan when we are being used for you by loosing some sixty eight billion dollars of worst poor taxes ,country ruined into poverty,horrible terrorist killings,hundred of thousand civilians killed,around four thousand soldier lost,hundred of thousand mutilated,orphaned,widowed for the toadies of NATO,UK,USA.
Pakistan under it's great Islamist leader Zia loved to get used by US in it's proxy war with Russia (in Afg.) for some goodies (military hardware, cash, CIA training, blind eye towards nuclear proliferation etc.). Taliban was created by a partnership of US and Pakistan. Terrorist bases were actively supported by different government agencies from the highest level of leadership. Even today, they talk about them as strategic assets of Pakistan.
Now that the chicken came home to roost, you are CRYING FOUL!
What Afghan soil? That Nato/US territoriality
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