Gilani calls for Af-Pak cooperation in war on terror (Second Lead)

April 16th, 2011 - 8:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Kabul, April 16 (IANS) Visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Saturday terrorism was a common enemy of his country and Afghanistan, and called for joint effort in the war against terror.

Addressing a joint press conference after meeting Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Gilani said “eliminating terror threat requires close cooperation” between the two nations.

“The war in Afghanistan destabilises Pakistan and vice-versa,” Gilani said in reply to a question, according to Xinhua.

However, he dismissed allegations that Pakistan’s tribal areas, along the border with Afghanistan, were safe haven for the terrorists.

Gilani said relations between the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan were very friendly, and that bilateral relations between the two countries would get closer in the years to come.

He said Islamabad would continue to support the Afghan government’s efforts towards a peace process and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

On his part, Karzai termed terrorism a “common enemy” and said both Pakistan and Afghanistan have been suffering at the hands of terrorists.

The Afghan president said issues related to the peace process and reconciliation in Afghanistan were discussed during his meeting with Gilani.

Earlier, Gilani arrived in Kabul Saturday with a high-level delegation that included the chiefs of the army and intelligence agency ISI.

Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Inter-State-Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, besides Minister for Defence Ahmed Mukthar, Minister for Interior Rehman Malik, Minister for Finance Adbul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir accompanied Gilani.

The day-long visit came on an invitation from Karzai.

An Afghanistan government-backed body - the High Council for Peace - established in September 2010 visited Pakistan early this year and exchanged views with Pakistani officials on holding possible talks with the Taliban.

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