Zardari, Karzai firm on continuing efforts to ensure regional peace

KABUL: President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday reiterated to continue the ongoing fight against terrorism and extremism till the restoration of regional peace.

The one-to-one meeting between the two leaders at the Presidential Palace here, focused on a range of issues, including bilateral relations and regional situation with specific reference to Afghanistan’s scenario after start of leaving of the United States troops. President Zardari, who arrived here on a day-long visit to offer Fateha and condolences over the death of younger brother of Hamid Karzai, also utilized the opportunity and held a one-to-one meeting with the Afghan President.

Briefing media persons, Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that President Zardari told his Afghan counterpart that Pakistan was a strong supporter of Afghanistan’s peace and stability.He said Pakistan believed that the solution to Afghan problem rested with its people who must be given an opportunity to decide about their future.President Zardari said it was time to prioritize the well-being of Afghan people, who had been suffering the effects of war-ravaged economy for decades.He said Pakistan would act as a supportive neighbour to Afghanistan in its efforts to attain development, peace and prosperity.

The two leaders also discussed the issue of border violations and attacks by the militants from the Afghan side into Pakistani territories at the Pak-Afghan border and in retaliation shelling of mortars by the Pakistani troops.President Karzai on the occasion raised the issue of held-up loaded Afghan containers carrying goods, including perishable items and food, under the Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (PATTA).President Zardari assured the Afghan leader that the containers with food and perishable items would be immediately allowed transit through Pakistan while the Commerce Ministry would be asked to look into other issues.

According to official sources, the issues of bank guarantee for the Afghan transporters and the Afghan origin vehicles having no Road Transit Temporary Admission Documents (TAD) are the main reasons of not allowing certain vehicles transportation of transit goods under the new Afghan Transit Trade Rules 2011.The Federal Board of Revenue is believed to have introduced a new provision ‘temporary admission of documents’ into the Afghan Transit Trade Rules 2011. The Government of Pakistan will issue the TAD to vehicles registered in Afghanistan and temporarily brought into Pakistan for transportation of transit goods under the new Afghan Transit Trade Rules 2011, the sources added. – APP