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Stability in Afghanistan significant for Pakistan: Gilani

By Abdul Nisar

Islamabad, Sept 17 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that his country attached great significance to Afghanistan's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and has also suggested the initiation of a bilateral security dialogue between the two countries.

"We want stability, peace and prosperity in Afghanistan," the Daily Times quoted Gilani, as saying during a meeting with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his delegation at the PM's House.

Stressing the need of strategic partnership between Islamabad and Kabul for regional peace and stability, he said that "both sides should redouble their efforts to strengthen the strategic partnership and expansion of cooperation in economic and commercial areas."

Referring to recent allegations from Afghan and US officials against Pakistani intelligence agencies, Gilani noted that any blame game should be avoided and such issues should be addressed bilaterally.

Assuring Karzai of his full support towards the Afghan reconciliation process, he said, "Pakistan has consistently stated that military operations alone cannot restore peace and stability. The international community should follow a holistic approach (in Afghanistan) by combining military, political and development strategies."

Referring to trade relations, Gilani urged the Afghan officials to consider building a road link between Pakistan and Tajikistan through the Wakhan strip, to which Karzai assured that his government would favourably consider the idea.

Karzai, on a two-day visit to Pakistan, is also going to meet army chief General Ashfaq Kayani and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. (ANI)

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