Pakistan backs Afghan reconciliation process

21:01, June 25, 2010      

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Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Friday announced Pakistan's support for the process of reconciliation and integration in the neighboring war- shattered Afghanistan and promised its help in the plan.

Gilani declared support in his meeting with visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, who met him at the Prime Minister 's House, officials said.

The prime minister reaffirmed his government's position of strict neutrality and non-interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs, a statement from the PM office said.

Pakistan, he said, has consistently supported the Afghan-led process of reconciliation and integration as its neighbor, sharing culture, values and traditions.

"Pakistan nonetheless is ready to lend a helping hand to the Afghan government if desired, in the reconciliation and reintegration process," the statement said.

The prime minister drew the Afghan foreign minister's attention to the fact that Pakistan has been consistently calling for installation of Biometric System along the border and increase in the posts to check the cross border movement of undesirable elements from both sides. He hoped that the Afghan Government will be able to give this proposal due consideration.

The prime minister reiterated Pakistan's offer of training the Afghan National Army, National Police and civil bureaucracy and recalled that Pakistan had doubled the number of scholarships for the Afghan students from this year.

Rassoul in his response termed Pakistan-Afghanistan relations as most important for his country and added that without close cooperation of Pakistan, the Afghan government cannot succeed in restoration of peace, the statement said.

Afghanistan also needs Pakistan's support, he said, in the implementation of its strategy of reconciliation and reintegration in the country. He assured Gilani that the government of Afghanistan would never allow any country to use its territory against Pakistan.

Source: Xinhua


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