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Ludin expects support from new Pakistan govt

Ludin expects support from new Pakistan govt

May 14, 2013 - 17:36

KABULinfo-icon: Afghanistaninfo-icon on Tuesday hoped with the change of government in Pakistaninfo-icon following last week’s parliamentary elections, tense relations between the estranged neighbours would start improving.

In recent months, Kabul and Islamabad have been at loggerheads over the Afghan-led reconciliation campaign and border skirmishes in the Goshta district of eastern Nangarhar province. Some officials in Kabul even indicated they were ready to purse the peace drive without Pakistan.

Led by former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan Muslim League-N is poised to form its government over the next few days. Sharif has promised to focus on pursuing cooperative relations with Afghanistan and other neighbouring country.

At a meeting of the International Contact Group on Afghanistan and Pakistan in Berlin, Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin said: ''The formation of a strong democratic government in Pakistan presents a good opportunity for the opening of yet another chapter of dialogue and cooperation.''

According to the Associated Press, Ludin complained Afghanistan’s ''modest expectations'' of cooperation have often been dashed by Pakistan. He stressed the need for what he called “serious reflection and soul-searching” on bilateral ties.

The International Contact Group on Afghanistan and Pakistan (ICG) held its regularly meeting in Berlin. The forum for political coordination to efforts for peace and stability in the region was opened by German Foreign Minister Westerwelle.

Chaired by German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Michael Koch, the group is the main forum for political coordination with respect to global efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.

Set up by Richard Holbrooke in February 2009, the group comprises some 50 countries and international organisations, including the United Nations, NATOinfo-icon, the EU and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

At the Berlin meeting, participants discussed "good governance" and long-term civilian support to Afghanistan under the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, security transfer to Afghan forces, the 2014 presidential vote and regional cooperation.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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