Islamabad: Pakistan and Afghanistan
on Thursday agreed to enhance their cooperation to fight terrorism
and extremism and to ensure regional security and development.
This was decided during talks between visiting Afghan
Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasoul and his Pakistani counterpart
Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
They held parleys on different aspects of
strengthening bilateral relations, including enhanced
interaction between the leadership of the two sides.
Addressing a joint news conference, Qureshi said he
and Rasoul had a "very useful and constructive meeting" and
agreed to find ways and means in different fields to enhance
He said they also discussed the regional security
situation and the Afghan government`s efforts to ensure
stability through reconciliation.
Peace and security in Afghanistan is important for
Pakistan, which has offered assistance, cooperation and
training facilities to Afghanistan in all fields, he said.
Pakistan has also offered training to the Afghan
military so that a well-trained force can take over the
responsibility of the security in that country, he added.
Qureshi said both countries also proposed to have
more cooperation for border security.
Both sides also agreed to enhance bilateral
relations in politics, trade and economic and other fields.
The economic and trade cooperation can increase from
the current level of USD 1.5 billion trade to USD 5 billion by
2015, Qureshi remarked.
He said both countries had agreed on constructing
direct road and rail links between Peshawar and Jalalabad and
the world community is ready to provide necessary funds for
The two sides also discussed the
Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project,
the issue of three million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan
and the problem of smuggling from Afghanistan.
Both countries agreed on the need to speedily
finalise the draft transit trade agreement.
Rasoul said bilateral relations have been improving
and there is a need for measures to implement past agreements.
Replying to a question about the policy of
reconciliation and integration in Afghanistan, Rasoul said
Taliban elements who do not have any links with al-Qaida, are
willing to lay down arms and follow the Afghan constitution
can be contacted to become part of the peace process.
However, peace and security in Pakistan and
Afghanistan are interlinked and both countries have to
cooperate with each other to achieve goals in this regard, he