Pak aware `terrorism not helping anyone`: Afghan official

The spokesperson of Afghan President Hamid Karzai said though things are moving in right direction, there is a long way to go in terms of anti-terrorism cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad.

Updated: May 16, 2010, 13:30 PM IST

Washington: Observing that relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan has improved significantly in the past two years, a top Afghan official on Sunday said there is now increased awareness in Islamabad that terrorism is not helping the two neighbours as well as the region.

Waheed Omer, spokesperson of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said though things are moving in right direction, there is a long way to go in terms of anti-terrorism cooperation between the two countries.

He said the relationship between the two countries has improved significantly ever since a democratic government assumed office in 2008.

"Because Pakistan has suffered so much in the hand of terrorism, in the hands of those who used Pakistan to act not only against Afghanistan, but also to hit back at Pakistan the awareness within the Pakistan government that terrorism is not helping either Afghanistan or Pakistan is there," Omer said in an interview.

"We have been talking in very firm terms with each other about how to commonly fight this joint enemy that we have. It is a process, we are not there yet. It is going to take time," he said.

At the same time, he said, cooperation from the Pakistani government and people are extremely important for establishment of peace in Afghanistan in particular and the region in general.

"We have to talk more and we need to have more (cooperation) happening on both sides to reach to a point where we can satisfactorily say that yes we are cooperating and things are moving well," said Omer.

On the recent visit by Karzai to the US, he said the success of the trip was beyond expectations. "We have very good messages to take back home and that is about America`s enduring commitment to Afghanistan, a commitment that will remain with Afghanistan, even after the war on terror is over, even after the troops have left Afghanistan," Omer said.

The President`s spokesman said Afghanistan is looking at the US to stay in the war-torn country and it needs Washington as long as it takes to be able to stand on its feet.

"We hope that this partnership that we have started now is a redefined partnership which is going to be signed towards the end of this year would be a good message to the people of Afghanistan, which will be also good for the region. We will have a better and stable region as a result of close partnership between the US and Afghanistan," he said.

He hoped that there will be substantive pledges from the United States and the rest of the world when Afghanistan brings forward its programmes with time line and budgets.

Terming this as extremely significant trip for both the countries, Omer said: "As you know, both countries are going into a very important phase in the war on terror. And it was important that both countries sit together and talk about issues that would take us to success together."