German Special Envoy on Afghanistan calls on Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani
Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that the reconciliation process should be Afghan led and Afghan owned to usher lasting peace in Afghanistan. He observed that the only way forward in Afghanistan is through building of Afghan institutions which will bring stability on the long term basis. He said Pakistan and Afghanistan are both victims of terrorism and we should jointly fight the common enemy to bring peace in the region as well as at international level.
The Prime Minister said this while talking to Mr Michael Steiner, German Special Envoy on Afghanistan who called on him at the Prime Minister’s House here this afternoon.
The Prime Minister said that his country has made great sacrifices in the war against terror. He mentioned that around 30,000 civilians and 5,000 soldiers have embraced martyrdom and economic losses are Billions of dollars. He further said that all the high value targets were arrested by the law enforcement agencies of Pakistan with or without help of international cooperation.
The Prime Minister supported the idea of Bonn Conference and said that peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s own interest. He said that his country is a part of the solution and not a problem. He assured that Pakistan will facilitate the Afghan led peace process. He mentioned about his fruitful meetings with the Afghan leadership, tribal leaders and businessmen during his visits to Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister expressed gratitude on behalf of the people and government of Pakistan for German assistance for earthquake and flood victims. He thanked the German leadership for enhancing economic assistance and supporting Pakistan for enhanced access of the Pakistani exports in the European Union markets. He said that Germany is the largest trading partner of Pakistan in EU markets.
The German Special Envoy thanked the Prime Minister for his support to the second Ministerial Bonn Conference being held on 5thof December this year. He apprised about the main agenda of the Conference and said that the Conference will discuss closer involvement of the regional countries for peace and stability of Afghanistan. It would also call for economic collaboration at the regional level, he added. He informed that the Preparatory Meetings for the second Bonn Conference are scheduled to be held in Istanbul on June 03 and in Kabul on June 27.
Mr Michael Steiner acknowledged Pakistan’s immense sacrifices in the war against terror. He viewed that only that road map will work for reconciliation in which Pakistan feels comfortable. He said that Pakistan’s legitimate interest needs to be protected and a more inclusive regional approach is required for peace and progress of Afghanistan.
He observed that the old approach of military solutions cannot bring peace, therefore, the world needs such an approach which could win the trust of the people.
The Envoy assured the Prime Minister that the German Chancellor will try to convince India regarding provision of greater access to Pakistani exports in the EU markets. He acknowledged that Pakistan is the main victim of international terrorism and it is the duty of the international community to extend every possible help to the country to face this challenge.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ms Hina Rabbani Khar, Senator Syeda Sughra Hussain Imam, Foreign Secretary and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.
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