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Zardari calls for all-inclusive dialogue on Afghan conflict

07 June, 2012

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the Gre
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BEIJING: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday that an all-inclusive dialogue process was viable option to find a solution to Afghan conflict.

During a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, President Zaradri reaffirmed Pakistan's unabated support towards peace, stability and socio-economic development of Afghanistan.

The president is in the Chinese capital to attend the 12th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit.

Spokesperson to the president Farhatullah Babar, while giving details of the meeting, said President Zardari underlined the importance of close interaction between the two countries at leadership level to deal with common challenges.

The president said Pakistan had been participating in the Istanbul Process meetings and would also attend the Kabul Ministerial Conference on June 14. The president said Pakistan looked forward to the visit of new High Peace Council Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani to Pakistan in the near future.

He pointed out that Pakistan firmly believed that permanent peace and stability could only be ensured following an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process in that country. He said Pakistan was in favour of strong Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and had announced $20 million to support the ANSF. The president said Pakistan was also prepared to consider any additional requirement to be indicated by the Afghan side for the purpose of strengthening and capacity building of its security forces.

He said Pakistan believed that a long-term economic engagement in Afghanistan beyond 2014 was very important and expressed the hope that international community would extend full support to Afghanistan at the Tokyo conference.

The president said economic development of the two countries, especially in the border areas, would help reverse the tendencies towards extremism. He said there was a need to persuade the international community, donor countries for investment and the US for expeditious passage of an economic package.

Karzai thanked President Zardari for the support Pakistan had been extending towards peace, stability and development of Afghanistan.

He said Afghanistan was keen to further strengthen its brotherly relationship with Pakistan. He also thanked the president for the support extended to Afghanistan at the forum of NATO summit and its commitment towards strengthening of the ANSF.

Earlier, Pakistan and China signed three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) covering supply of water from Tarbela to Islamabad, establishment of Special Economic Zone in the proposed new city Zulfikarabad in Sindh and the building of 6,000 flats in Sector I-15 on the private-public partnership basis and an agreement for the de-silting of canals and barrages in Sindh province.

President Zardari also held separate meetings with the four leading Chinese business executives and invited them to take advantage of the investment-friendly policies of the Pakistani government.

End.

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