Afghanistan to itself decide about US presence beyond 2014: Nawaz

Afghanistan to itself decide about US presence beyond 2014: Nawaz Sharif | PakistanTribeKABUL – Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to further enhance cooperation to realize the objectives of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Meanwhile, Prime Mian Nawaz Sharif has said Afghanistan would itself to decide about the presence of US bases in the country beyond 2014, adding that there is no restriction on meetings with Muallah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Pakistan. Any body sent by Hamid Karzai could meet with Baradar.

Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that the terrorism is a common problem for Pakistan and Afghanistan, adding that his country wants best economic relations with Pakistan.

The understanding came during a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Saturday. The delegations of the two countries also took part in the dialogues.

Pakistani delegation was consisting of Advisor to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Pakhtunkhawa Milli Awami Party President Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatimi, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and Pakistani Ambassador in Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was presented guar of honor at the presidential palace prior to the dialogues.

Later, addressing a joint news conference along with the Afghan president, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif absolutely made it clear that Islamabad desires a friendly and good neighborly relations with Afghanistan based on mutual trust, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. A peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s vital interest.

He expressed satisfaction that both the countries are working together to make the neighborhood peaceful. He said we have no favorites in Afghanistan rather the people of Afghanistan have to take decisions regarding their future.

Referring to the drawdown in 2014, Nawaz Sharif said this is a major step towards making Afghan people master of their own fate. He, however, emphasized that this major milestone will be accompanied by many challenges.

It is in everybody’s interest that transition in Afghanistan is completed as peacefully as possible. He said Pakistan has always supported an afghan led and afghan owned peace process. Inclusive political settlement will bring peace in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan has a vital stake in Afghanistan’s success in its journey towards peace and stability. Pakistan will stand by Kabul in its every step.

The Prime Minister urged all the stakeholders to seize the opportunity and join the peace efforts. It is time to take decisive steps dialogue process to realize the objectives of peace and stability.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s support for Afghan reconciliation process, the prime minister said the international community should remain engaged in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

On cooperation in diverse sectors, Nawaz Sharif said we have agreed that there is huge potential of closer collaboration between the two countries in diverse sectors including trade, energy, infrastructure and communications.  We have committed ourselves to trans regional projects including CASA and TAPI gas pipeline projects, he said.

While replying a question Mian Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan would support all possible steps for making Afghanistan as stable and peaceful country. Replying another question Nawaz Sharif said that there no one favourtive for Pakistan in Afghanistan, adding that all Afghans are favorite for Pakistan. He said that the Afghanistan itself would have to decide about the giving bases to US after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014. He said Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been released in Pakistan, adding that during meeting with Hamid Karzai this issue was discussed in detail, adding that the mechanism regarding the issue has been devised and its implementation would be ensured. Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan will follow the instruction given by Hamid Karzai regarding meetings with Baradar and these meetings will be ensured.

In his remarks, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said terrorism poses threat to both Pakistan and Afghanistan and both the countries need to work together to curb it. He also expressed his desire to build strong economic relations with Pakistan. He said that recent visit of High Afghan Peace Council Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani’s Pakistan visit was positive. Karzai said he and Nawaz Sharif discussed the situation of post NATO and US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan. Karzai also welcomed Nawaz Sharif on visiting Afghanistan.

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