Beware of ''common enemies'': Gilani tells Karzai

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Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pak PM
Lahore, Oct 3: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today asked Afghan President Hamid Karzai to beware of "common enemies" as a war of words escalated between the two countries over allegations that ISI was involved in the assassination of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani.

A day after he said Karzai had "some misunderstandings" over the killing of peace council leader Rabbani, Gilani said that the Afghan President should join hands with Pakistan for durable peace in the region, Gilani said.

"Certain forces are at work to destabilise Afghanistan and President Karzai should not play into their hands. Instead we should get united to foil their machinations," he said while interacting with journalists at his residence in Lahore.

His comments came hours after Pakistan's Foreign Office rejected Afghan government''s accusation that the ISI had played a role in the assassination of Rabbani, calling it "baseless" and "irresponsible".

Gilani said peace, sovereignty, stability and independence of Afghanistan were priorities of the Pakistan government and Kabul should beware of "common enemies".

Pakistan's Interior Ministry has assured its full cooperation to Afghanistan in all matters, he added.

Asked about former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen's accusation that the ISI was waging a proxy war in Afghanistan and threats of unilateral US action against militants, Gilani said the US government had recently assured Pakistan that it would respect its territory at all costs and not repeat actions like the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May.

Mullen's statements "carried no weight", Gilani contended.

Referring to Pakistan''s nuclear assets, Gilani said they were in safe hands under an organised control and command system and this fact had been acknowledged by the US on various occasions.

"Pakistan''s defence is in safe hands but we show a responsible response to others as a nuclear nation," he said.

Asked about PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif''s allegations regarding secret Pakistan-US agreements, Gilani said his government had not signed any covert pact with the US for the war on terror.

Referring to Pakistan's estranged relations with the US since CIA contractor Raymond Davis was arrested in Lahore for killing two men earlier this year, Gilani said his government had adopted a principled stand on the issue and shown its resentment.

Confidence-building measures were underway to normalise relations between the two countries, he said.

Asked about the recommendation made by a recent meeting of all political parties for using dialogue to settle the unrest in Pakistan''s northwest, Gilani said his government believed in adopting the path of peace and talks.

He recalled that the government had initiated dialogue with Taliban commander Mullah Fazlullah in Swat before resorting to military action.

PTI

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