Friday, January 28, 2011

Afghanistan: Pakistan, Afghanistan to form joint peace commission

Islamabad, Jan 28, IRNA - Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed on Thursday to form a joint commission of diplomats, army representatives and intelligence officers to work for regional peace, Foreign Ministers of the two countries said.

The visiting Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rassoul and his Pakistan counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a joint press conference in Islamabad that the commission will give impetus to the on-going engagement process and promote understanding for peace and security in the region.

'The process of consultation between the two countries has helped build trust and a relationship to achieve our shared objectives,' Qureshi said.

Rossoul arrived in Islamabad on Thursday for talks to adopt a joint strategy for the the Afghanistan-Pakistan-United States Trilateral Dialogue which will be held on 22-24 February 2011 in Washington and emphasized on a common approach towards priority areas.

To a question regarding a trilateral meeting among Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States in Washington, Qureshi said that it would open a new chapter of political process.

Both sides agreed to establish a bilateral mechanism for cooperation and consultation between their respective authorities for mutual legal assistance, including the issue of prisoners and consular matters, a joint statement said.

Replying to a question on the process of reintegration and reconciliation, Zalmay Rassoul said that those militants and Taliban leaders, who had respect for the constitution of Afghanistan, human rights, and women rights could become part of the reconciliation process on some terms and conditions.

He said that the reconciliation process was very difficult but makes progress.

Qureshi said, 'Pakistan can play an active role and facilitate the Afghan government and people in the reconciliation process which is led by the Afghan government and owned by its people.'

He said that the mechanism should be political one with intelligence agencies on board in the reconciliation process.

Qureshi said that the contact group of Islamic countries on Afghanistan would also meet in Jeddah next month and Pakistan would actively participate in the meeting to ensure peace and security in the region.

He said the menace of drug trafficking could also be resolved through regional cooperation.