Afghanistan, Pakistan agree on joint anti-terror efforts
Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, after a meeting of the working group of the Joint Commission on Reconciliation and Peace, promised a combined campaign against the common enemy.
Afghanistan was shocked by recent suicide attacks, floods and diseases in central Punjab province, affecting thousands of people, Ludin told a joint press conference with Bashir.
President Karzai was gravely concerned at the floods that affected many people in Sindh and the explosion that happened at a funeral of a public representative in Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said.
"Both Afghanistan and Pakistan are facing a common enemy that should be defeated together," Ludin said, referring to the Dir suicide attack that left 45 people dead and several others injured.
Fighting the "enemy" would bring the neighboring countries closer, he hoped, saying that peace and stability would elude the region without Pakistan's assistance.
Worried by the abduction of children from the Bajaur tribal region, Karzai was ready for all possible assistance to free them, Ludin said.
"We have prepared ground for action and practical measures will be taken in the next few weeks," Ludin said, stopping short of explaining what collaborative steps they had agreed to take.
President Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani will meet next month, according to Ludin.
It was the "strategic responsibility of both countries to take their affairs in their own hands" for dealing with the challenges confronting them, the deputy minister stressed, saying friends were expected to help, but only an Afghan-led and Pakistan-assisted process could succeed.
"Terrorism is a common enemy and we have agreed to take joint and effective measures to curb it and fight the militancy for our security," Bashir said, adding they had discussed in detail the modalities and possibilities to take joint action against terrorists.
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