Afghanistan says Musharraf's resignation will help anti-terror fight

Other News Materials 18 August 2008 18:06 (UTC +04:00)

An Afghan government spokesman said Monday the resignation of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf would create an opportunity for both countries to fight against terrorism "in a better way."

Musharraf, who came to power following a coup in 1999, said in a televised address to his nation that he was resigning from his post just as impeachment proceedings were to begin against him in parliament, dpa reported.

"We hope this is a good opportunity for our cooperation in fighting against terrorism and for eliminating the terrorist bases on the other side of Durand Line (border)," spokesman Sultan Ahmad Baheen said.

"We hope that Musharraf's resignation will have positive effects in strengthening of democracy and civilian government in Pakistan," Baheen said.

Afghan officials including President Hamid Karzai repeatedly accused Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) and other elements in Pakistan army for supporting Taliban and al-Qaeda, allowing them to turn Pakistan's tribal areas into safe havens.

"Specific entities like ISI and the army support the terrorist attacks and their bases on the other side of Durand Line and we have always wanted that the civilian government should control these entities and stop them from supporting the terrorism," Baheen said.

Pakistan repeatedly rejected Kabul's allegations.

In late June President Karzai threatened to sent Afghan troops into Pakistan to track down the militants he said were based in the tribal areas.

Karzai's comments worsened the tense relations between the two allies of the US in its wars against Islamic extremists. But he hinted earlier this month that he was ready to start a new round of negotiations with the new civilian government in Islamabad.

"The people of Pakistan are in favour of peace and stability in their country and are in favour of the fight against terrorism," Baheen said."