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Pakistan concedes Afghan Taliban presence on its soil

Pakistan concedes Afghan Taliban presence on its soil

May 23, 2011 - 19:18

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Afghan militants are hiding in Pakistaninfo-icon, but the government in Islamabad is no way supporting them, a senior diplomat from the neighbouring country said on Monday.

Pakistan has suffered more than any other country due to the ongoing war on terrorism, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir told reporters in Kabul. Militant attacks happen in different parts of the country on a daily basis, he said.

The visiting secretary rejected criticism from the international fraternity that his country is not doing enough to combat the scourge of terrorism. He touted Pakistan's role in killing and capturing senior Al Qaeda and Talibaninfo-icon leaders.

He called for greater regional cooperation in the campaign against militancy, saying the states involved in the war need to overcome the trust deficit if they are to succeed in their joint effort.

On US President Barrack Obama's statement that the Abbottabad operation would be replicated if he received concrete evidence of insurgent leaders' presence in Pakistan, he said the anti-terror war should be conducted in line with the UN Charter.

With regard to US-Afghan strategic cooperation, Bashir said: "The worldinfo-icon should respect Afghanistaninfo-icon's sovereignty. Afghanistan should do what is in its supreme national interest and what it deems appropriate."

Bashir is scheduled to attend three-way talks among Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US, a spokesman for the Pakistani embassy in Kabul told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Deputy Foreign Minister Javed Ludin and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman and Bashir would confer on a wide range of issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Ahmad Zahir Faqiri said.

"The participants would try to convince Pakistan into playing a more proactive role in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan," Faqiri said.

Press Attaché at the Pakistan embassy in Kabul Ghulam Mohammad Wazir said the meeting would be held on Tuesday. The visiting foreign secretary will meet Ludin before the tripartite negotiations.

Bashir would deliver a "special message" from Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to President Hamid Karzai, the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad said, without giving further details.



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