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Responding to a query regarding President Karzai’s recent press conference in Kabul, the Spokesperson of the Foreign Office said that Durand-line is a settled issue. Opening discussions on this issue is a distraction from the more pressing issues requiring the priority attention and cooperation of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

When drawn attention to the parts of the statement wherein the Afghan President urges Taliban to “turn and target” and “aim their weapons at” Afghanistan’s enemies, the Spokesperson stated that the continuing fight against terrorism and extremism warrants Pakistan, Afghanistan, and all other stakeholders to work together in a spirit of cooperation and harmony. He recalled that President Karzai had in the past asked Pakistan to use its influence on the Taliban to enter into dialogue for reconciliation process. Pakistan had responded positively to that call. The Spokesperson added that Pakistan will continue its support for the Afghan reconciliation process, rather than focusing on the negatives.

Referring to President Karzai’s remark that he visited Pakistan 19 times, the Spokesperson said that Pakistan’s leadership has also travelled to Afghanistan several times to help build trust and strengthen bilateral relations. Pakistan remains fully committed to assist in all sincerity towards peace and sustainable economic development in Afghanistan, which we believe is in the vital interest of Pakistan and our region.

On President Karzai’s remarks regarding Pakistani posts on the border, the Spokesperson recalled that Pakistani post in Gursal had come under attack from Afghan forces and there had been several threatening and provocative statements made by Afghan leadership in this regard. The Spokesperson reiterated that the posts on Pakistan-Afghanistan border are serving the useful and mutually beneficial purpose of better border management, which is crucial for interdicting cross border undesirable activity. He reaffirmed the need to use bilateral channels including military to military contacts to resolve the issues relating to posts. In several high level interactions in recent past, the leadership of Afghanistan and Pakistan have agreed on the imperatives of a mechanism for an effective border management for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

06 May 2013

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