Islamabad: United States does not contemplate any reconciliation process in Afghanistan without Pakistan, this was stated by Ambassador Marc Grossman, Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, when he called on the Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani here this morning at the Prime Minister’s House.
The Prime Minister said that it was extremely important for Pakistan to see a sovereign, stable and prosperous Afghanistan because it was in our best interests as well as of the region.
The Prime Minister said that he was happy that his idea of three Ds (dialogue, development and deterrence) was being realized as a way forward by the international community to achieve security and stability through economic development.
The Prime Minister also underlined the apprehensions that as in the past Pakistan may once again suffer the negative fallout of the Afghanistan problem. Ambassador Grossman at this said that the US would not commit the same mistake of abandoning Pakistan.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan was working to ensure Afghanistan’s Connectivity in the region through the Trade Agreement (APTA) which should extend to the Central Asian Republics also.
The Prime Minister reiterated the joint resolve of Pakistan and Afghanistan’s Leadership to root out militancy and terrorism as both the countries had suffered severely the impact in terms of loss of precious lives and property, instability in their countries as well as economic set back due to insecurity.
The Prime Minster emphasized that the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan should be on the same page to deny any space to the militants to capitalize on, and was looking forward a positive outcomes of the forthcoming Istanbul and the Bonn Conferences. The visit of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Pakistan would be an opportunity for exchange of views on multiple subjects adding that positive messaging both from Washington and Islamabad is important to deny space to the militants.
Ambassador Grossman agreed with the Prime Minister on the need for the repatriation of the 3.5 million Afghan Refugees still on Pakistani soil. Earlier the Prime Minister called for the solution of the problem which should be an important component of the reconciliation process.
Ambassador Grossman appreciated and agreed with the Prime Minister’s views about the criticality of economic development as an essential part of an Afghan and Afghan owned reconciliation process.
The US delegation included US ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Cameron Munter, US ambassador to Afghanistan, Mr. Ryan Crocker and Senior Military Advisor to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Rear Admiral Philip Davidson.
Minister for Defence Ch. Ahmad Mukhtar, Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Senator Sughra Hussain Imam and other senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign affairs, Interior and Defence were also present on the occasion.
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