Pak supports Afghan-led and not outside formula: Gilani

Leading a delegation of Generals and intelligence chief to Kabul, Pak PM Yousuf Raza Gilani told President Hamid Karzai that Islamabad supports a "Afghan-led solution".

Updated: Apr 17, 2011, 01:00 AM IST

Kabul/Islamabad: Leading a delegation of
Generals and intelligence chief to Kabul, Pakistan Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday told President Hamid Karzai
that Islamabad supports a "Afghan-led solution" and not an
"outside formula" for political settlement in Afghanistan.

Proposing a three-track "military, intelligence and
political" cooperation between the two neighbours, Gilani told
Karzai at a meeting at his Presidential palace that political
settlement that was "home-based" could only be durable and
sustainable.
Peace talks with Taliban, trade and security were high
on the agenda in the meeting.

Gilani has embarked on the visit billed as "crucial"
along with the head of his powerful army and intelligence
agency ISI against the backdrop of reports that Turkey was
working to facilitate Pakistan and Afghanistan`s efforts to
reconcile with Taliban.
It is unusual that Pakistan`s powerful trio are
visiting Afghanistan at the same time and the tour comes in
the background of strained ties between Islamabad and
Washington.

Gilani, who made the day-long trip at the invitation
of Karzai, told Pakistani media that Islamabad had no
intention to play a leading or substantive role in any
political process in Afghanistan.

Besides army chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and ISI
head Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Gilani was accompanied by
Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Interior Minister
Rehman Malik, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina
Rabbani Khar and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and they flew
into Pakistan Air Force plane to Kabul.

Afghan sources said that a long term strategic
partnership agreement that Afghanistan is negotiating with the
US also figured in the talks.

So far the Taliban have publicly refused to negotiate
a political solution to end the war in Afghanistan unless
foreign forces were withdrawn from the country.

Gilani also said relationship between Pakistan and
Afghanistan had undergone a sea change and the objective of
his visit was to find a strategic coherence and clarity on
Afghan related issues.

He said it was time for the two countries to take
"ownership" of their affairs and convey to the world that they
were mature and responsible enough nations to deal with their
own issues whether political or terrorism related.

Gilani also said he wanted to reach out to all ethnic
and political groups in Afghanistan.

Referring to the presence of army chief and
intelligence chief in his delegation, Gilani said it showed
that all institutions in Pakistan were on "the same page" over
the issue of Afghanistan`s stability.

This is Gilani`s second visit to war-torn Afghanistan
since December.

PTI