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Karzai offers mediation to ease Af-Pak tensions

Karzai offers mediation to ease Af-Pak tensions

May 09, 2017 - 12:32

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Former president Hamid Karzai has discussed Kabul-Islamabad relations at a meeting with a group of journalist from Pakistaninfo-icon in Kabul, his office said on Tuesday.

Regional peace, strengthening the relationship between Afghanistaninfo-icon and Pakistan and other issues were discussed at Monday’s meeting, a statement from the ex-president’s office said.

Meanwhile, a Pakistani newspaper reported that Karzai told the journalists he would visit Pakistan after the holy month of Ramazan in response to an invitation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Karzai offered to help resolve Af-Pak tensions. “I would love to [play a role in peace]. I am hopeful the visit would bring some good results,” he was quoted as saying.

“I want to have in-depth discussions with political and military leaders. I will talk to the military... Pakistan and Afghanistan are not enemies, but twins,” he said. He would travel to Pakistan as an Afghan national and not as a representative of the government.

“I will ... [make] an appeal to the Pakistani leaders to look at the situation both countries are facing. I will argue that both countries can overcome the problems,” he promised.

Shocked by the casualties on both sides during last week’s shelling on the Chaman border-crossing, he hailed a recent visit of Pakistani parliamentarians.

“It is unfortunate that the people in both Pakistan and Afghanistan are undergoing miseries because of the war, terrorism and extremism.”

While supporting the ongoing regional initiative by Russia, involving China, Pakistan, Iran and India, he acknowledged Moscow was playing a “peace role”.

However, the erstwhile president excoriated America’s policy in Afghanistan. He accused Washington of introducing the Daesh phenomena in the war-ravaged country.

He explained: “Afghanistan will not be peaceful without Pakistan’s cooperation and, similarly, Pakistan will not be stable unless the war ends in Afghanistan.”

No government in Afghanistan would ever recognise the Durand Lineinfo-icon, Karzai said about the controversy over the border.

He scorned the perception that India was using the Afghan soil against Pakistan. “Like Pakistan, Afghanistan is an independent country and has the right to have relations with anyone. India is our longtime friend.

“But I assure Pakistan that no one can use our soil against Pakistan and any other country,” the Indian-educated former president concluded.


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