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Karzai's conditions for Pak-Afghan partnership decried

Publication Date : 09-10-2012


The Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan yesterday decried Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s conditions for strategic partnership with Islamabad and said Pakistan wanted to have a "mature dialogue" with Afghanistan.

The strongly worded FO rejoinder to terms set by Karzai has clouded the possibility of the two countries, once described by the Afghan president as "conjoined twins", striking an accord that could serve as a roadmap for bolstering ties.

Comments by “President Karzai and certain other quarters in Afghanistan are entirely misplaced and without any basis”, FO spokesman Moazzam Khan said.

Karzai had last week said "ending terrorism" was a precondition for the strategic partnership agreement with Pakistan.

“If these conditions are met — terrorism is stopped, extremism is dismantled, anti-Afghan activities are stopped, destruction of Afghanistan is stopped, friendship starts between the two countries which hasn’t happened so far — then a strategic pact would be signed between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the Afghan president said.

Shrugging off the insinuation, the spokesman said: “Pakistan has invested heavily both in terms of human and economic losses to promote stability in Afghanistan.”

He said Pakistan wanted to have “a mature and responsible dialogue” with Afghanistan.

Khan reminded that the Afghan president himself, during a meeting with President Zardari in New York last month, had proposed a strategic partnership agreement with Pakistan.

Afghanistan has signed strategic partnership accords with India and the US, but it has been reluctant to have one with Pakistan.

Karzai’s rhetorical diatribes aren’t anything new for Pakistan. During his visit to Islamabad earlier this year, he, at a breakfast meeting with journalists, mentioned the same terms for friendship between the two neighbours.

The Afghan president was expected to visit Pakistan for furthering discussions on the proposed pact.


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