Af-pak relations: Zardari to hold talks in Kabul today

Published: July 19, 2011

Visit to focus on counter-terrorism and peacemaking with the Taliban. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

With US and other Nato forces racing to train enough soldiers and police to take over completely and allow all foreign combat troops to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, Pakistan’s leadership has stepped up efforts aimed at seeking a ‘regional’ solution to the unrest in war-torn Afghanistan.

President Asif Ali Zardari is due to visit Kabul today and during his visit he is expected to hold talks with President Hamid Karzai to discuss issues of bilateral importance as well as counter-terrorism and peacemaking with the Taliban, his spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said.

Babar said the bilateral and regional issues would also be part of the discussion during the day-long trip, not giving any specifics about the issues to be discussed.

The president’s visit to Kabul comes after his trip to Iran earlier this week in which he reportedly held in-depth negotiations with the state’s leadership on the future of Afghanistan.

According to officials at the foreign ministry, the Iranian leaders were not against Pakistan military’s support for the Taliban but they were wary of them becoming as powerful as they were in the 90s. China, another key power player in the region, also has the same opinion and conveyed it to Pakistan, the officials added.

“That’s what we are trying to build on … there is support for our narrative and these efforts are aimed at exploiting that,” commented one of the officials.

Officials said the president’s visit is meant to take further the consensus on peacemaking with the Taliban as both countries had already evolved between themselves.

President Asif Ali Zardari will also convey his condolences to Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the death of his brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, Babar added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Jul 19, 2011 - 7:24AM

    Pak with small P. Is this a new country merger?

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  • Noble Tufail
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:57AM

    It is not Af-pak. It is Pak-Afgan. Pakistan Painda baad.

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  • AK
    Jul 19, 2011 - 4:08PM

    Whoever came up with the term Af-Pak must be entirely stupid or not in their senses. I myself never heard of this term before 2008 or 2009. Its a recent invention which tries to combine us with Afghanistan and doesnt make sense..

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  • Mir Agha
    Jul 19, 2011 - 11:39PM

    Pakistan should use the Af-Pak term to say it is going to have prime say in Af-Pak instead cribbing about terms.

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  • Jul 20, 2011 - 7:45AM

    @AK:
    Gradually it will pick up, this is how it works in propaganda.

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