President Asif Ali Zardari has said that Pakistan has been consistently extending every possible support for promotion of peace and stability in Afghanistan and to the efforts for intra-Afghan reconciliation as peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s own vital interest.
He stressed the need for joint efforts and close coordination to cope with the evolving situation in the region with focus on peace process in Afghanistan and the post- withdrawal scenario.
The President said this while speaking to Afghan President Hamid Karzai during meeting at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the two leaders discussed matters pertaining to Pak-Afghan bilateral ties, evolving regional situation, peace process in Afghanistan and other issues of mutual concern.
The President reaffirmed strong resolve of Pakistan to working with Afghanistan as well as regional and international partners for sustainable peace and development, as the President said we firmly believe that our dreams of peace and prosperity cannot be realized as long as Afghanistan remains in turmoil.
Discussing Pak-Afghan bilateral relations President Zardari reiterated that Pakistan was committed to further deepening and broadening fraternal relations with Afghanistan and said that relations between the two countries should be defined by a strong trade and economic partnership. He said that the two countries have covered a long distance in forging closer ties in last few years and urged for further strengthening it to the mutual benefit of the two countries.
President Zardari emphasized on optimum utilization of the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) and its extension to Central Asia for promoting trade and economic activities in the region. He said that early implementation of Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement besides enhancing regional connectivity would also help promote Afghanistan’s access to foreign markets through Pakistani sea-ports and land routes.
The President also reiterated that Pakistan supports an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation and peace process and it will continue to play a positive and supportive role in facilitating the reconciliation. The President wished the Afghan President and the people of Afghanistan well in the ongoing reconciliation and peace process in the country.
The President expressed hope that President Karzai’s visit will impart impetus to ongoing efforts for an enhanced relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan and further strengthen joint endeavours of the two countries in the pursuit of durable peace, stability and prosperity.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai was accompanied by Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, National Security Advisor, Hazrat Omer Zakhilwall, Minister of Finance, Dr. Anwar ul Haq Ahady, Minister of commerce and Industries, H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani, Chairman of High Peace Council (HPC), Abdul Karim Khurram, Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Ershad Ahmadi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs and Mohammad Umer Daudzai, Ambassador of Afghanistan.