July 24, 2014

Pak-Afghan leaders pursue peace despite attack on spy chief

By Sajad - Wed Dec 12, 10:42 pm

Pak-Afghan leadersTurkish president Abdullah Gul on Wednesday said despite the life attempt attack on Afghan spy chief Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari remains committed to press ahead with peace efforts after a meeting in Turkey.

He said the attack on Afghan spy chief Asadullah Khalid was an attempt to derail dialogue between the two nations.

Pak-Afghan leaders met with the Turkish president during a tripartite summit in Anakar in a bid to ease tensions between Kabul and Islamabad and increase cooperation among the two countries.

Abdullah Gul at the end of meeting said the two leaders had “renewed trust and are determined to work together.”

NDS chief Asadullah Khalid was critically injured after a suicide bomber who introduced himself as the Taliban peace envoy detonated his explosives in one of the guesthouse in capital Kabul last Thursday.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai a day after the attack said the attack was planned in Pakistan, but stopped short of directly holding Islamabad responsible for the explosion that was claimed by the Taliban.

In the meantime Afghan president Hamid Karzai quoted by Associated Press on Wednesday said the two leaders had “very good conversations” about the assassination attempt, but refused to go into details. Afghan officials said Karzai would present evidence to Zardari during their meetings about the attack.

Karzai said, “Hopefully the fight against extremism and terrorism will take itself to a conclusion where the populations of the two countries are not threatened by these attacks.”

He also said, “The environment of dialogue is better than it has been. At the same time, we are seeing unfortunate incidents of terrorism both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Meanwhile Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardai for his part distanced his country from the attack on Khalid.

Asif Ali Zardari quoted by Associated Press said, “They (terrorists) don’t want us, the governments to get together and to be able to lead the nations to peace.”

“It is in the interest of Pakistan that Afghanistan prospers,” he said. “It is in my interest that peace returns to Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace talks with the Taliban group is considered to be vital as Pakistan helped the Taliban seize control of Afghanistan in the 1990s, providing funding, weapons and intelligence.

However Kabul and Washington have repeatedly criticized Pakistan’s role in fighting the terrorism and accused Islamabad of continuing to support the group but the allegations have been denied by Pakistani officials.

Political observers meanwhile believe that Pakistan continues to see the Taliban as an important ally in Afghanistan to counter archenemy India.

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