Zardari calls for long term engagement


Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed in principle to extend the bilateral Transit Trade Agreement beyond Afghanistan to other countries in central Asia. The decision was taken Sunday at the Zardari-Karzai meeting in Chicago on the side lines of Nato summit when President Karzai welcomed Pakistani President’s proposal to this effect.
Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that modalities for extending the transit trade to Central Asia will be worked out by the officials from two sides.
He said that the President Zardari also called for long term regional economic engagement and stressed that projects like Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, CASA-1000, Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (RoZs) and rail and road connectivity could change the destiny of the region calling also for concerted efforts to implement these projects.
The President also drew attention of the Afghan President to the recent incidents of detention of Pakistani businessmen and professionals visiting Afghanistan and urged President Karzai to look into it. The President said that facilitating visa regime for
Pakistani businessmen and investors would attract them to invest in Afghanistan.
President Zardari also underlined the need for dealing with the issue of prisoners and called for the establishment the Joint Commission for the purpose.
It may be mentioned that President Karzai had agreed in principle during his visit to Pakistan last year. “The operationalization of the Commission needs to be expedited on humanitarian grounds”, President Zardari said.
President Zardari said that Pakistan would support every effort for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan including the Qatar process as long as they were acceptable to our Afghan brothers.
He said that peace and stability in Afghanistan is a central concern of Pakistan and reiterated that the Pakistani territory shall not be used for any kind of attacks on any other country. He said that the Pakistani Parliament had also recently reiterated this principle and also declared that all foreign fighters shall be expelled from our soil.
Farhatullah Babar said that the post 2008 period has been marked by frequent Pakistan-Afghanistan meetings at the leadership level. President Karzai visited Pakistan to participate in the Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan trilateral summit February 2012 during which he held bilateral meeting with both Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani and President Asif Ali Zardari. President Karzai also addressed the National Defence University and met with a cross section of the political leaders in Pakistan.


  1. There have been several ups and downs between Afghanistan and Pakistan after the freedom of Pakistan in 1947.
    Tensions between the nations heightened during the initial years of Pakistan’s freedom over Durand Line when Mohammad Daud Khan was the prime minister of Afghanistan.

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