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Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir called on President Hamid Karzai yesterday evening and conveyed the greetings and sincere wishes of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

President Karzai recalled the last visit of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, which he had termed as a turning point in the bilateral relationship. He stressed there was consensus among Afghans that close collaboration between Pakistan and Afghanistan were essential for regional peace and development. He added that both countries needed to work together for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. In this context he underscored the need for the early operationalization of the two-tiered Joint Commission for peace and reconciliation announced during Prime Minister Gilani’s visit to Kabul.

Foreign Secretary underscored Pakistan’s commitment to facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process for reconciliation and peace. He stated that Pakistan was only interested in stability and peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan supports a sovereign, independent and unified Afghanistan. It is for the Afghan people to decide how they wish to work out the process of peace and reconciliation.

Foreign Secretary also conveyed an invitation from Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to President Karzai to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience which was graciously accepted.

24 May 2011

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