Islamabad: While responding to the appeal of Afghan President, Mr. Hamid Karzai on February 21st, 2012, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has appealed to the Taliban leadership as well as all other Afghan groups, including Hizb-e-Islamic to participate in an intra-Afghan process for national reconciliation and peace.
“It is now time to turn a new leaf and open a new chapter in the history of Afghanistan. It is time to now combine the strengths of the Afghan people in a true spirit of our noble religion – Islam and in accordance with the glorious traditions of the Afghans to build peace and bring prosperity to Afghanistan” the Prime Minister said.
Following is the text of the statement of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Afghanistan
“Afghanistan is a brotherly country, close neighbour, with which Pakistan has multiple bonds of affinity. We value, deeply, our friendly and brotherly relations with the people of Afghanistan.
Pakistan wishes to have the best of relations with Afghanistan. Stability, peace and national reconciliation in Afghanistan is indeed critical for regional peace and stability. We are mindful of the importance of ensuring that the processes of peace and reconciliation succeed and thus contribute to the welfare and well-being of the Afghan people.
A sovereign and independent Afghanistan, well on the road to a peaceful and prosperous future, is indeed critical for Pakistan and for our region, as a whole.
It is in this context that Pakistan has been supportive of all efforts to promote peace, national reconciliation and development. I am happy to state that our relations with Afghanistan have witnessed important positive developments at all levels during the recent years.
Pakistan firmly believes that respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity as well as adherence to the principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan are of critical importance.
We also believe that the process of national reconciliation must be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. It is imperative to promote an intra-Afghan consensus for a durable political settlement that accords with the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan, as a whole.
The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, His Excellency Hamid Karzai, in an important statement on 21 February 2012, has appealed to Pakistan to support the peace process in Afghanistan. This is an important statement and Pakistan is duty bound to respond positively to the appeal of President Karzai.
Pakistan has always held that there is no military solution to the problems of Afghanistan. We have also stated that it is important to create conditions conducive for a grand intra-Afghan settlement, based on national reconciliation that involves the Afghan people without any distinction.
It is now time to turn a new leaf and open a new chapter in the history of Afghanistan. It is time to now combine the strengths of the Afghan people in a true spirit of our noble religion – Islam and in accordance with the glorious traditions of the Afghans to build peace and bring prosperity to Afghanistan.
In this spirit, I would like to appeal to the Taliban leadership as well as to all other Afghan groups, including Hizb-e-Islamic, to participate in an intra-Afghan process for national reconciliation and peace.
It is our sincere hope that the Taliban leadership, Hizb-e-Islamic and all other Afghan political leaders will respond positively to my appeal and agree to enter into direct negotiations in the framework of an intra-Afghan process for reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan.
Pakistan, on its part, will support such an authentic Afghan process and is prepared to do whatever it can for its success.
I would like to appeal to the international community to support, fully, national reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan.
We are appreciative of the important initiative taken by President Hamid Karzai and wish the intra-Afghan process every success”.
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