Afghanistan would not be made into proxy battlefield against Pakistan: Karzai

Terming Pakistan and Afghanistan as inseparable twin brothers Afghan president Hamid Karzai said Afghanistan soil is not being used against Pakistan as we do not want any proxy war on our territory.

Speaking at a joint stake out along with Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani at the PM House the Afghan president said that Pakistan and Afghanistan have a lot in common not many countries share as much as Pakistan and Afghanistan do and we want to have long standing cordial relations with Pakistan.

Both Pakistan and Afghanistan have suffered on the hands of terrorism, he said.

Talking about Afghanistan’s close relations with India Karzai said India is a close friend of Afghanistan but Pakistan is its brother.

He said that we would not allow India to use our soil against Pakistan we do not want any proxy war on our territory.

Terming Pakistan as a hospitable nation he said that five million refugees have returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran. He said that the Afghan refugees returning from Pakistan had never felt they were living in another country due to Pakistan’s hospitability.

He said we welcome Pakistan’s offer on cooperation in transit trade, rehabilitation, education, scholarships and technical assistance

On Pakistani forces training Afghan forces the Afghan President said we are studying the proposal but no final decision has yet been made in this regard.

He said without Pakistan’s help peace and development cannot exist in Afghanistan. Similarly Pakistan also needs Afghanistan

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said that close and strong ties with Afghanistan would further strengthen with the visit of President Karzai. He said we have given a road map to Afghanistan for peace and stability and with the establishment of democracy in Afghanistan the relations between the two countries would further consolidate. He said we share the same stance on regional peace and stability and on war against terror.

The PM said that Pakistan would help Afghanistan in its rehabilitation process.

He said that scholarships for Afghan students would be enhanced and it is our effort to increase bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan to 5 billion dollars by 2015.

Prime Minister said that drone attacks are counter productive thousands of civilians are being killed due to which we are facing hard time in luring away tribesmen from terrorism. We have tried to explain it to the US to give us the drone technology and we would ourselves rake action against terrorists on our soil.

On this the Afghan President said that the civilian casualties are a matter of concern but this issue is between US and Pakistan as they are allies. We have not held any talks with the US on this issue.

In response to a question regarding Afghanistan construction of a dam on River Kabul thus adding to the water woos of Pakistan the Afghan president said we are well aware of the water scarcity and need in the region including that of Pakistan and I assure that we would never take such steps that would reduce the water flow to Pakistan and if Pakistan needs we would give our last drop of water to Pakistan

The Afghan president said that Saudi Arabia can play an effective and vital role for consolidating ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan for regional peace.

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