Pakistan committed to peace, Gilani tells Karzai


Reiterating their commitment to the peace process, Pakistan and Afghanistan on Friday decided to work to further strengthen their cooperation to ensure peace, security and stability in the region, with President Hamid Karzai expecting Islamabad to help investigate the assassination of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani.
In their one-hour meeting on the sidelines of the 17th SAARC summit, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai discussed bilateral relations, regional situation and SAARC affairs, mainly focusing on peace in Afghanistan. As President Karzai termed Professor Rabbani’s death a setback to the peace process, Prime Minister Gilani assured him that Pakistan would fully support and cooperate in the investigation into the killing of the Afghan leader. Talking to reporters after his meeting with President Karzai, Gilani said that Rabbani’s killing was a setback to the peace and reconciliation process. “Pakistan will extend full cooperation to the recently constituted joint investigation commission to probe Professor Rabbani’s murder,” he said, adding that Rabbani was a sincere friend and his death was a great loss to Pakistan.
“We need to sincerely commit not to allow our respective national territories to be used for activities detrimental to each other’s interests,” Gilani said, emphasising that reconciliation and reintegration in Afghanistan had to be entirely Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and part of a domestic political process. The prime minister said that his government had made unprecedented efforts to improve relations with Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan was prepared to work in a cooperative mode with Afghanistan and other international partners to promote the shared objectives of stability and peace in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan had joined the joint peace and reconciliation commission on the request of Afghanistan and was still ready to facilitate this process, if requested, adding that various trilateral and quadrilateral processes were aimed at creating an enabling environment to work on development agenda and promote trans-regional development cooperation.Gilani said these and other important processes such as the ECO and SCO were now gaining momentum. Both the countries agreed to convene the postponed trilateral meeting between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan on mutually agreed dates. To a question, Hamid Karzai said strategic agreement between Afghanistan and India was not against Pakistan or any other country in the region. He said it would help promote education and development in Afghanistan.
“We fully understand that instability in Pakistan cannot be a source of stability in Afghanistan and vice versa,” the Afghan president said.