Zardari in Tehran for tri-lateral talks

Published: June 24, 2011
Plot to assassinate President Asif Ali Zardari uncovered. PHOTO: AFP

Plot to assassinate President Asif Ali Zardari uncovered. PHOTO: AFP

TEHRAN: The presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan arrived in Tehran on Friday for a three-way summit with their Iranian counterpart and to attend an anti-terrorism conference, IRNA news agency reported.

The summit to be attended by Presidents Asif Ali Zardari, Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes as the United States announced that it will draw down by 33,000 its contingent of 99,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of summer 2012.

Several hundred French soldiers have also been recalled from the country recently.

Britain and Germany, which have the largest presence in Afghanistan after the US, have also declared their intention to reduce their contingent by the end of the year.

Iran has always been hostile to the presence of NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, saying they strengthened terrorist groups such as Taliban and Al-Qaeda more than it weakened them.

Tehran itself suffers from the activities of the armed Sunni Muslim group Jundallah around its border with Pakistan and Afghanistan. Jundallah is on the United States’ list of outlawed terrorist groups.

After the three-way summit, Zardari and Karzai will attend on Saturday an anti-terrorism conference alongside Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Iranian media reported.

Other nations will also attend the conference as observers.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court, which has issued two arrest warrants on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region, where a bloody conflict has raged for eight years.

Iran, which is on the United States’ list of state sponsors of terrorism, regularly accuses Israel and the US of plotting terrorist attacks against its territory.


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Reader Comments (10)

  • Mirza
    Jun 24, 2011 - 8:49PM

    Way to go for an independent foreign policy. The nation is with you and we need cheap energy ASAP.Recommend

  • sabk
    Jun 25, 2011 - 12:58AM

    thank you iran for cheap electricity…….thank you zardari for denying the saudis …..salafi saudis only want to send terrorista to pak in name of jihad….they even donn,t know what is jihad….Recommend

  • Modasar
    Jun 25, 2011 - 1:17AM

    Iran(Persia) is in my blood. Pakistan’s friendship with Iran is betterment for pakistan and suffering for US and Israel.Recommend

  • hopeful one
    Jun 25, 2011 - 1:38AM

    Good move by Zardari! We need a new beginning for a secure future of the coming generations.Recommend

  • Noor Nabi
    Jun 25, 2011 - 5:35AM

    Pakistan must – as it has with President Zardari’s visit to Iran – show independence in its foreign policy. Good to distance the fortunes of the country from the proponents of Salafist thought. Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Jun 25, 2011 - 9:53AM

    @ All Pakistanis

    I appreciate the few comments praising Mr.Zardari, this is what democracy can achieve. So, please support democracy, don’t fall behind those Generals who had betrayed you for years.Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jun 25, 2011 - 11:49AM

    I would like more when my country also improves its relations with Iran.Recommend

  • sharjeel
    Jun 25, 2011 - 1:01PM

    @Paras Vikmani:
    unforunately your country gives more importance to its ties with israel than iran,,,Recommend

  • Frank
    Jun 27, 2011 - 9:11AM

    ashol sai

    I appreciate the few comments praising
    Mr.Zardari, this is what democracy can
    achieve. So, please support democracy,
    don’t fall behind those Generals who
    had betrayed you for years

    What makes you so sure that the Army isn’t supporting this new foreign policy? The army has at last realized that America is an enemy of Pakistan, and is seeking to build an anti-American alliance with Iran, russia and China, other regional countries threatened by American imperialism.Recommend

  • Nazia Saleem
    Jun 30, 2011 - 7:26PM

    Since 2008, when the new People’s government assumed the reigns of Pakistan, things began to warm up all over again between Pakistan and Iran, which unfortunately had reached a crescendo during Musharraf (another military dictator) era and more so had come to the end of the roads. Zardari has declared relations with Iran as the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. He has vowed to cement the relations between the two countries and for the purpose he embarked for Iran. It was due alone to his concerted efforts that Iran and Afghanistan joined hands with Pakistan to fight against terrorism in a conference against this menace. This visit of President is slap on the faces of those, who was propagating against PPP government for distancing itself from Iran because of US pressure. It is gigantic evidence that PPP government is pursuing an independent foreign policy and does not take dictation like previous regimes of right wing political parties and dictators. The willingness of Iranian government to provide Pakistan electricity will alleviate the problem of power shortage.. All of this has been possible due to focused and sustained efforts by Zardari. He has continued with the legacy of Bhutto of maintaining close ties with Iran and other Muslim countries. Recommend

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