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Karzai welcomes Pak PM statement

Karzai welcomes Pak PM statement

Feb 24, 2012 - 19:01

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Karzai government on Friday welcomed Pakistaninfo-icon’s call for the Talibaninfo-icon, Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistaninfo-icon and other insurgent groups to join the ongoing reconciliation process.

Earlier in the day, the Pakistani prime minister appealed to all rebel outfits to take part in the intra-Afghan process for national reconciliation. “Now is the time to turn a new leaf and open a new chapter in the history of Afghanistan… to build peace.”

Yusuf Raza Gilani said Pakistan wished to have the best of relations with Afghanistan. Stability, peace and national reconciliation in Afghanistan was critical to regional peace and stability, a statement from the Prime Minister’s House said.

He renewed Pakistan’s stance that Afghanistan’s problems could not be resolved militarily. “We have also stated that it is important to create conditions conducive for a grand intra-Afghan settlement…”

Gilani hoped the Taliban, Hizb-e-Islami and other Afghan leaders would respond positively to his appeal and agree to enter direct negotiations in the framework of an intra-Afghan process for reconciliation.

While responding to Gilani’s statement, President Karzai’s spokesman told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Afghan government hailed every step that Pakistan took toward strengthening peace in the war-torn country.

“We warmly welcome Pakistan’s call as supportive of the Afghan-led peace effort,” remarked Aimal Faizi, who linked the expression of support from Gilani to the fruitful democratic efforts President Karzai had made during his last week’s visit to Islamabad.

At his meetings with Pakistani political figures, the spokesman recalled, the president had underlined the need for joint endeavours to deal with the challenges facing the region.

“We hope support from Pakistani leaders has paved the ground for direct peace talks between the Afghan government and militants,” the presidential aide said. The move would also help significantly efforts at stabilising the region, he concluded.


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