Islamabad: Pakistan and Afghanistan will formally launch a Joint Commission on Reconciliation during the upcoming visit to Islamabad by Afghan President Hamid Karzai later this month, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday.
Pakistan and Afghanistan had launched the commission in April when Prime Minister Gilani travelled to Kabul in April.
The commission is tasked to carry forward the reconciliation process, following the withdrawal of foreign troops from the insurgency-torn country.
Officials and diplomatic sources say that President Karzai is scheduled to pay a two-day visit to Pakistan at the weekend.
“The Prime Minister referred to President Karzai’s forthcoming visit to Pakistan during which the Inaugural Session of Joint Commission on Reconciliation between the two countries is scheduled,” Mr Gilani told a visiting US Congressional delegation, the PM office said.
Gilani said that he and Mr Karzai will also formally launch Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement. He said that Pakistan, Afghanistan and US being part of the Core Group have to have strategic coherence among them for ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.
Pakistan and Afghanistan had established the two-tier Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Commission for facilitating and promoting reconciliation and peace.
The first tier of commission will include the chief executives, foreign ministers along with chiefs of the military and intelligence services of the two countries while the second tier will comprise senior officials of foreign ministries, military and intelligence services.
Mr Gilani termed Pakistan-US relationship as significant in the context of how they can shape the future of this region and called for joint endeavours to ensure maximum utilization of the potential for economic development in Afghanistan as well as the region at large.
The members of US Congressional delegation termed Pakistan as an extremely important country in the world in the war against terrorism and for defeating the violent extremism. They acknowledged the great sacrifices of Pakistan’s Armed and security forces as well as of the people of Pakistan for the world’s peace in the ongoing struggle against terror.
They assured the Prime Minister that despite strong sentiments in the US Congress for reducing the budget deficit and cutting down on foreign aid, the economic assistance to Pakistan would continue. They also agreed with the Prime Minister that his democratic government needed the political space and undertook to contribute in that regard in the US Congress.