ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to share intelligence to eliminate the menace of terrorism and extremism. Addressing a joint press conference, President Pervez Musharraf and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai said that terrorism and extremism are affecting both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and both countries are aiming to share intelligence to eliminate these problems. Both leaders said that while terrorism may have decreased in Afghanistan, it has correspondingly increased in Pakistan.
”The key in fighting and enhancing the capability against terrorism and extremism is intelligence cooperation,” Musharraf said and added that “the two intelligence agencies, on both sides, must cooperate more strongly if we are to deal with terrorists and extremists more effectively.”
President Musharraf described the meeting with his Afghan counterpart as very positive.
He said serious talks were held between the two in connection with the problems being faced by the two countries besides bilateral relations, eradication of terrorism and other matters.
Musharraf indicated that besides working towards developing strong regional commercial and trade ties, the two countries have worked towards developing a strong relationship as far as communication is concerned.
President Musharraf said people of both the countries were sufferings at the hands of extremists and terrorists and they discussed ways on how to enhance cooperation to address the challenge.He referred to the geographic affinity of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics and said they discussed the need for developing communication and infrastructure linkages in the region to promote trade and commerce.
Musharraf said that people of Pakistan and Afghanistan both were suffering due to wheat and atta crisis and Pakistan was looking at how to alleviate the sufferings of the brotherly country. He said they also noted the success of the first grand Jirga of the two countries and Pakistan will be privileged to host the next Jirga Commission. He said a smaller nucleus is to be created of the Jirga and Pakistan would be sending names for that purpose.
President Hamid Karzai described Pakistan and Afghanistan as twins and said they destines are bound together. He said they discussed in all sincerity how to enhance our understanding of the problems that the two countries are facing.Karzai thanked President Musharraf for his understanding of Afghanistan’s wheat and flour crisis and announcing 1000 scholarships for Afghanistan students to undertake higher studies in Pakistan. Pakistan has also agreed to rebuild a number of schools in Afghanistan.
To a question, President Musharraf said Pakistan has effectively dealt with the problem of terrorism in Swat and succeeded in breaking the back of terrorists. He said Pakistan has also taken action in southern districts and the situation was now far better.-SANA