Zardari, Karzai agree to extend transit trade

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said that Islamabad would support every effort for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Washington: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai has agreed to extend the transit trade agreement between the two countries to the Central Asia Republics.

"Once the decision has been taken, modalities for extending the transit trade to Central Asia will be worked out by the officials from two sides," the Pak President`s spokesperson, Farhatullah Babar, said after the meeting held in Chicago on the sidelines of the NATO Summit yesterday.

During the meeting that lasted for nearly 45 minutes, Zardari also emphasised on long term regional economic engagement and stressed that projects like Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, CASA-1000, Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (RoZs) and rail and road connectivity could change the destiny of the region, calling also for concerted efforts to implement these projects.

Zardari said that Pakistan would support every effort for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan including the Qatar process as long as they were acceptable to Afghans, Babar said.

Noting that peace and stability in Afghanistan is a central concern of Pakistan, Zardari reiterated that the Pakistani territory shall not be used for any kind of attacks on any other country.

The Pakistan Parliament had also recently reiterated this principle and also declared that all foreign fighters shall be expelled from its soil, the spokesperson noted.

Farhatullah Babar said that the post 2008 period has been marked by frequent Pak-Afghan meetings at the leadership level. Karzai visited Pakistan to participate in the Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan trilateral summit February 2012 during which he held bilateral meeting with both Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Zardari.


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