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As a gesture of solidarity with the Government and people of Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar participated in the meeting on Afghanistan held in Jeddah on 3 March 2011.

Earlier, Pakistan, due to its principled objections on the Af-Pak concept, had refrained from profiling in the meetings of the International Contact Group, composed of SRAPs from various countries. Pakistan was given a clear understanding that this meeting in Jeddah had been convened as a result of a request by the Afghan Government to the OIC Secretary General, who had kindly offered to host the event at the OIC premises.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs underscored to the participants the need for promoting stability and peace in Afghanistan. To promote this objective, it was imperative that all countries, especially the immediate neighbours and those in the wider region, pledged themselves to respect the principles of non-interference and non-intervention as well as respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity. She also underscored the importance of Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process of national reconciliation.

Minister Hina Rabbani Khar also emphasized the importance of working the development track, without which other tracks such as military and political would not deliver.

Pakistan has always enjoyed close brotherly relations with the people of Afghanistan. Cooperation between the two Governments continues to progress in a comprehensive manner.

Pakistan supports efforts of President Hamid Karzai and his Government as well as those of the High Peace Council led by Professor Burhannuddin Rabbani to promote reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan will continue to assist Afghanistan in its endeavours to promote socio-economic development. Both Governments have already agreed to speed-up the measures relating to trade facilitation in the context of a new Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement. Both sides have also agreed to promote joint ventures and expand horizons of mutually-beneficial economic partnership as well as promote trans-regional development cooperation.

04 March 2011

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