WebExPk Affordable Hosting

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Karzai says US drones not operating from Afghan bases

ISLAMABAD, Mar 11: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said US drones are not operating from Afghan bases for attacks on Pakistan and that his country would not be allowed to be used by anyone for terrorist activities against Pakistan.

Addressing a joint news conference with Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani here Thursday after their formal talks, Hamid Karzai said it is not in their capability to stop the drone attacks which only use Afghan territory while overflying.

Karzai said if there was information that any was using Afghan territory, they will stop that because that means troubles and miseries on both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In his typical style, Karzai said Pakistan and Afghanistan are twin brothers who cannot be separated. He said they are fully aware and recognize that without Pakistan and its cooperation, Afghanistan cannot be peaceful and stable. He believed that it is also recognized in Pakistan that without a stable Afghanistan there cannot be peace and stability in Pakistan.

He however said India and Afghanistan are very close friends and New Delhi is helping us in a number of projects in various areas

Replying to a question about building of water reservoir with Indian assistance, Karzai said Afghanistan will not take any step that will reduce the flow of water to Pakistan.

“We are fully aware of the shortage of water in thispart of the world.Afghanistan will not take any such step that will reduce the flow of water to Pakistan”.

Asked about Pakistan’s offer for training of Afghan military, Afghan president said they have taken the offer, study it and get back to Pakistani brothers.

Hamid Karzai admitted that during the talks with Pakistani leadership they discussed about the role of Saudi Arabia in reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan. He said informed Pakistani leaders about the requests he made to Khadmain-e-Harmain Sharifain King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz for facilitating peace and stability in his country and in further strengthening bonds between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“We have a cler vision on that as the role of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz is of extreme significance to both the countries”

Afghan President said relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are getting on firm grounds. He said there is a recognition now in both the countries that they face opportunities and dangers together. Therefore he said it is the responsibility on both the nations and future generations that they work together to remove the dangers and work towards peace and stability.

Prime Minister Gilani in his opening remarks said the visit of President Karzai has contributed to further fortifying their bonds of friendship. He said peace in Afghanistan can be achieved through an Afghan driven process and assured all out support of Pakistan in this connection. He said it was Pakistan’s desire to work closely with Afghan government to take the friendship forward.

He said they had a fruitful exchange of views on the entire spectrum of their relations and to further augment their cooperation in th fight against terrorism. They also exchanged views to take further steps to consolidate their comprehensive partnership for development, peace and prosperity.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan will be launching Afghan-Pakistan reconstruction consortium, increase scholarship for Afghan students and hoped progress on the signing of transit trade agreement at the earliest.

In reply to a question, Gilai said the drone attacks are counter productive I Pakistan. He said Pakistan had ably isolated militants from the local people but when there is a drone attack, that again unite them. He said they are convincing the US that drone attack are counter productive and there should be some strategy evolved by both the countries either transfer of technology to Pakistan or some other arrangement to proceed further.

Later, the Prime Minister hosted a lunch in honour of the Afghan President.
Speaking on the occasion, Gilani hoped that both the countries will lay down a well considered roadmap to fight the scourage of terrorism and enhance cooperation between the two countries. He said Pakistan will continue to support Afghanistan for bringing peace in the country. He said Pakistan also supports reconciliation process in Afghanistan which will help bring stability in that country.

He emphasized for a strong Pakistan-Afghanistan relations which are vital for regional peace, security and development.

In his address, the Afghan president emphasized the need for forging stratetgic partnership between the two countries and enhance the level of friendship between people of both the nation. He said there is dire need of enhancing communication links between the two countries including rail and road to give boost not onlyto trade but also to enhance people to people contact.

In a Joint Statement at the end of the visit of Afghan President, both the countries decided to develop a roadmap for strengthening road, rail and air connectivity and upgrade existing facilities. In this context, the two countries attached priority to undertaking completion of Peshawar-Jalalabad Expressway and completing feasibility study of Peshawar-Jalalabad rail link.

To operationalize transport corridors on mutually agreed routes and to expand aviation links and extend Bus Services to additional destinations the two sides agreed to undertake joint studies on promotion and facilitation of Multi-Modal Transport, and enhance communication links.

In orde to facilitate the bilateral trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan to optimally utilize the natural comparative economic advantage of the two countries the two countries agreed to take requisite measures to enhance bilateral trade to $ 5 billion by the Year 2015; develop plans of action for customs harmonization and trade facilitation.

The two sides agreed to establish a Silk Route CEOs Forum, as well as establish Pakistan-Afghanistan Reconstruction Consortium in order to pool public and private corporate resources for reconstruction and development.

It was decided to explore establishment of a Joint Investment Company to undertake joint development projects, including initiatives to develop the region’s vast mineral and hydel wealth as well as consider setting up Economic and Industrial Zones.

Pakistan also offered extending all assistance to Afghanistan, in setting up new capacity building institutions and upgrading the existing ones, in Afghanistan.

Both the sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in the agricultural sector including food processing, consider creation of a Pakistan-Afghanistan Food Bank to strengthen food security, initiate joint research in agriculture and crops substitution programmes.

In the field of energy, the two countries decided to evolve joint strategies for early implementation of trans-Afghan energy projects, with particular focus on CASA-1000 and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan Gas Pipeline.

No comments:

Post a Comment