Pakistan and Afghanistan have finalised the agenda for the opening session of a high-level joint commission established to further the reconciliation process in the war-ravaged country by reaching out to the Taliban.
The agenda for the maiden session of the commission, scheduled for later this week in Islamabad, was given final shape at the talks between the visiting Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin and senior foreign office officials in Islamabad on Monday.
Luden, who is currently on a two-day visit to Pakistan, held separate meetings with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir.
“Apart from holding bilateral talks, he (Luden) is here to work out details for a visit by the Afghan President in the near future,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is due to arrive in Islamabad on a two-day official trip on June 10 to lead his country at the meeting of joint commission. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani will head the Pakistani delegation. The commission was originally established in January this year.
In a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, the Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister referred to the inter-dependence of the destiny of the two peoples and countries. He noted with appreciation the finalisation of Afghan Transit Trade Agreement as an important step toward strengthening of economic and commercial ties.
Hina Rabbani Khar expressed satisfaction over the current state of bilateral relations between the two countries, which had undergone tremendous change under the present democratic regime, the Foreign Office statement said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2011.
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