International Affairs

Zardari invites Afghan counterpart

KABUL: Newly elected Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has invited his Afghan counterpart to attend his oath-taking ceremony, the Afghan government said Sunday. ’The Pakistani president invited him (Karzai) to take part in the oath-taking ceremony to be held in Islamabad soon,’ the statement said, adding that Karzai accepted the invitation. Karzai, is said to have had good relations with Benazir Bhutto, expressed hoped that relations between the two Islamic neighboring countries would improve.

Zardari, the widower of the slain former premier of pakistan Ms Benazir Bhutto and co-chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, was chosen by the electoral college comprising two house i.e Senate and federal cabinet and four provincial assemblies to succeed Pervez Musharraf. It has been observed Karzaii and Musharraf had uneasy relations over the Afghan government accusation that Pakistan was not doing enough to stop cross-border infiltrations by militants, however Pakistan has vehemently denied.

The two sided blame game has been observed by the world. Thousands of Taliban and their al-Qaeda associates fled Afghanistan in the wake of US military invasion in late 2001, and allegedly regrouped in Pakistan’s tribal area, close to the Afghani border. The Afghan government and NATO military officials have accused Taliban militants of crossing the porous border and staging attacks before fleeing back to sanctuaries in Pakistan.

Political critiques are calling it a new start for the betterment in relationships of two countries whereas this region can be more peaceful and problems related to the militancy and terrorism would expectedly solved.

Input from Agencies

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Noreen Gill

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