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Pak Foreign minister Kasuri to visit Kabul this week

Written by: Staff
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Islamabad, Dec 4 (UNI) Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri will visit Kabul from December 7 to 9 to give final shape to the proposed peace jirga of tribal elders on both sides of the Durand Line.

''On top of the agenda will be an attempt to firm up the constitution of the grand jirgas and a schedule for convening them,'' the Dawn quoted a senior Foreign Ministry official as saying today.

The two sides have been in touch over the modalities for such a jirga, the official said.

The joint jirga of Pakistan and Afghan tribal elders is to be held under a plan agreed to between President Pervez Musharraf and Afghan President Hamid Karzai at a White House tripartite summit meeting hosted by US President George W Bush on September 27.

The underlying objective of convening the grand jirga is to find a viable solution to militancy in the region.

The proposal was mooted by the Afghan President who believes it will help stem resurgence of Taliban and establish peace.

According to the proposed plan, Pakistan tribal elders would be invited to Kabul and Afghan leaders would come to Pakistan to convene jirgas which would be addressed by both Gen Musharraf and President Karzai.

The Afghan government is keen that international observers be present at the jirgas.

The discussion between Mr Kasuri and his Afghan counterpart Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta will also cover bostering border security and bilateral cooperation in all areas, including war against terrorism.

In this context, Mr Kasuri is likely to reiterate a number of measures the government has taken to ensure that Pakistani territory is not used for violence in Afghanistan.

These include fencing of the international borders between the two countries; selectively mining and fencing the borders; introducing restrictions and checks on movement such as requirement of documentation on the points, where the movement is allowed and real-time intelligence-sharing for which mechanisms like the tripartite commission are in place.

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