Karzai to visit India for talks with Singh
Karzai's two-day trip was planned during Singh's visit to Kabul some five months ago, Janan Musazai, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a media briefing.
Although he gave no dates, an Indian media report said the meeting between Karzai and Singh was slated for Tuesday, October 4. The two sides would focus on expanding bilateral ties, he said.
According to the Times of India newspaper, during the two-day, Karzai will likely discuss the role of Pakistan's spy service in fomenting terror in Afghanistan and its connection with the Haqqani group.
Quoting unnamed government sources, the daily said: "The two leaders will discuss the situation arising out of the assassination of the chairman of High Peace Council, Burhanuddin Rabbani." It added Foreign Minister SM Krishna would meet Karzai on Wednesday.
A day earlier, some media outlets quoted Musazai as saying that Kabul had cancelled Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's visit to Kabul for participation in the second meeting of the Joint Commission on Reconciliation.
The neighbours launched the commission in April during Gilani's visit to the Afghan capital. The panel, whose inaugural meeting took place in Islamabad, is tasked with carrying forward the reconciliation process, following the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
However, the spokesman said there was no question of Kabul scrapping Gilani's trip, whose dates were yet to be firmed up. Such decisions were taken by the president himself, he said, without going into details.
Musazai told a questioner the 5th trilateral meeting among Afghan, Pakistani and US officials, due to take place this month, had been delayed. The three-way talks had been set back due to Pakistan's failure to translate its peace promises into action.
Over the past few months, he acknowledged, the neighbouring country had done its best to boost bilateral confidence. But the efforts ended up in smoke, he hastened to explain.
Many of the suicide attacks in Afghanistan were still planned in Pakistan, where militants continued to be equipped, Musazai alleged. "We hope our future relations will be more pragmatic. It's for this reason that the trilateral mechanism has been suspended."
Last week, Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul inaugurated a ministerial meeting on the New Silk Route in New York, he said. The meeting, co-hosted by Germany and the United States, also discussed projects such as the TAPI pipeline and the CASA 1000 energy-trading scheme.
Rassoul said the goal was to achieve an Afghan economy whose growth was based on trade, private enterprise and investment. The foreign minister said that it was his conviction that effective regional cooperation and the re-emergence of the road were vital for peace, security and stability.
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