Islamabad: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has
said the Indian presence in his country cannot be in any way
used against Pakistan, which should be happy that Afghanistan
is being "tremendously" helped by another neighbour.
"The Indian presence in Afghanistan... cannot be in any
manner used against Pakistan," Karzai said in an interview to
India, being an old friend of Afghanistan, was helping it
"tremendously and providing financial assistance," he said.
"Pakistan should feel happy that Afghanistan is being
helped by another neighbour," Karzai said.
At the same time, he pointed out that Pakistan is a
"conjoined twin and brother" of Afghanistan.
Karzai lauded the role of the Pakistani leadership and
people in enhanced cooperation with Afghanistan to achieve
peace and stability in the region.
Responding to a question, he agreed that contrary to the
situation during the regime of former military ruler Pervez
Musharraf, relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have
improved a lot after the PPP-led government came to power.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani`s recent visit to
Afghanistan was "very important" as the two countries had then
agreed to establish the bilateral peace commission, he noted.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have enormous potential and
opportunities for trade and economic cooperation and this
could be done through bilateral and regional engagements
involving the Central Asian states, he said.
Asked about Kabul`s relations with Tehran, Karzai said
his country has been very clear with the US that "there is no
way that Afghanistan cannot have a relationship with" Iran.
Afghanistan has a 900-km border with Iran and the two
countries share linguistic, cultural and religious links, he
Karzai said irrespective of what the Western countries
might think, the Afghan people will ultimately have to bear
the responsibility of protecting their country and
strengthening peace and stability.
Regional cooperation, particularly Pakistan-Afghanistan
cooperation, is very important in this respect, he said.