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Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to work jointly to eradicate terrorism

15 November, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to work closely with other international partners to remove the names from the UN sanctions' list of the potential negotiators amongst Taliban and other groups to enable them to participate in peace talks, and resolved to work together to eradicate terrorism.

This was said in the joint declaration issued at the Foreign Office after the successful round of talks between Pakistan and Afghan High Peace Council on Wednesday. Afghan High Peace Council's delegation briefed the Pakistani side on the progress made in the peace and reconciliation process and underlined the importance of Pakistan's role in this regard. Pakistan expressed support for Afghanistan's vision and roadmap for achieving durable and lasting peace in the country.

The two sides appealed to the Taliban and other armed opposition groups to participate in the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process to end violence. "In support of peace and reconciliation process and in response to the requests of the Afghan government and High Peace Council, a number of Taliban detainees are being released," the declaration said. The two sides agreed to jointly work for holding an ulema conference which will include religious scholars from Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Islamic countries.

The conference could either be held in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan or any other Islamic country. The ulema conference would address the issue of rising militancy and suicide attacks in the name of religion and the defamation of glorious and peaceful religion Islam due to its unjustified linkage with terrorism.

Pakistan and the High Peace Council called on the Taliban and other armed groups to sever all links with al Qaeda, and other international terror networks. The two sides recognised that close and consistent cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan is key to building trust and confidence between the two countries and strengthening joint bilateral efforts in promoting peace and stability as well as overcoming the ongoing trends of violence and extremism. They called for long term and consistent mutual cooperation based on mutual interest and respect.

The two sides stressed that talking to and maligning each other through media leaves little space for serious dialogue. Therefore, all government officials and spokespersons should refrain from making hostile statements and avoid blame game.

End.

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