Pakistan and Afghanistan renew commitment to fight terrorism

Other News Materials 23 April 2008 19:52 (UTC +04:00)

Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday reiterated their commitment to eliminate terrorism and enhance bilateral economic relations, reported the dpa.

The pledge was renewed as Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta discussed security and economic issues with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in capital Islamabad.

The prime minister said a strong and stable Afghanistan was also in Pakistan's interest, according to an official statement.

"The events in Afghanistan have a spillover effect on Pakistan therefore we will continue our support for peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan in order to maintain regional stability," Gilani added.

The government in Kabul has repeatedly asked Islamabad to do more to contain Taliban militants and al-Qaeda terrorists from launching cross-border attacks on NATO-led international forces and Afghan troops from Pakistan's tribal region.

The country has deployed more than 90,000 troops along the Afghan border to control Taliban activities.

However, Gilani emphasized the need to pursue political and economic initiatives in addition to the use of force to curb the menace of terrorism.

He said Pakistan desired to further enhance economic cooperation with Afghanistan.

The Afghan foreign minister said Afghanistan was working hard to improve the security situation in order to expedite the reconstruction and development process, adding that he appreciated the assistance provided by Pakistan in this regard.

Spanta said his government was keen to see progress on the proposed multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The ministers of petroleum from the four countries opened the talks on the project in Islamabad on Wednesday. The 1,435-kilometre pipeline will cost 4 billion dollars and will be used to supply gas to Pakistan and India. Afghanistan will benefit from it in terms of a transit fee.