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Pakistan wants stable Afghanistan, says PM

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. — Photo by AFP

LONDON: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday urged the international community to devise a clear roadmap on Afghanistan to ensure peace and stability in the region and in the world at large.

At a meeting with Mark Philip Sedwill, the UK's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Prime Minister Gilani expressed hoped that the time before the Bonn Conference would be utilised to the maximum to draw a strategy that ensures a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan after a possible withdrawal of the ISAF forces in 2014.

He said Pakistan's policy on Afghanistan was very clear and that Pakistan wanted a “stable, peaceful and prosperous” Afghanistan through a smooth transition.

Prime Minister Gilani said Pakistan believed in a policy of non-interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs and was convinced that peace there was vital for regional stability.

He said Pakistan was trying to fight the menace of terrorism despite heavy odds but needed international support to sustain its commitment.

Prime Minister Gilani said a two-tier joint commission on reconciliation had been set up by Pakistan and Afghanistan. The first tier of the commission led by the chief executives of the two countries was held in Islamabad, while the first meeting of the Joint Commission's second tier level was held in Kabul on June 29 this year.

He further said that Pakistan had been working with the Afghan leadership to promote reconciliation through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

He expressed confidence that the appointment of Mark Sedwill as UK's special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan would be helpful in promoting peace in the region due to his knowledge and understanding of both the countries.

Mark Sedwill apprised Prime Minister Gilani about the working of his office regarding matters relating to Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said efforts would be made by the international community to focus on stability and peace in Afghanistan in the post 2014 scenario as the region could not afford Afghanistan plunging into chaos again.

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