President Zardari proposes trilateral trade agreement

Dushanbe: President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday proposed a trilateral trade agreement to include Tajikistan along the line of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement.

During his meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai here at Dushanbe-one day before the Quadrilateral Summit taking place– President Zardari said that in order to eradicate poverty and illiteracy, the root cause of breeding militant mindset, the regional countries need to concentrate on exploring more and more economic opportunities for their people and to provide them better future prospects.

Briefing the media about the meeting, Spokesperson to President Mr. Farhatullah Babar said that the President while emphasizing upon the need to have trilateral trade arrangements said that such an arrangement would not only benefit the people of the three countries would also generate huge economic activity in Afghanistan.

The President said that connectivity through all available modes hold the key to the development of the region by tremendously boosting the mutual trade activities and prompting people to people contacts.

Issues related to Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement also came under discussion. The two Presidents agreed upon the need to resolve all the issues in this regard, if any.

Other matters that came under discussion included situation in Afghanistan, war against militancy, regional situation, developmental projects in the region with special reference to the energy projects under consideration, reconciliation process undergoing in Afghanistan and post 2014 future scenario.

Talking about situation in Afghanistan, the President reiterated that stability and peace in Afghanistan were vital for stability and peace in Pakistan. He said that our mutual efforts have enabled us opening a new chapter in our bilateral relationship and we are keen to see a stable and peaceful Afghanistan on our western side.

The President said that Pakistan has always called upon the international community to support and work for the permanent solution to the issues in Afghanistan and we are ready to provide all possible assistance to the international community in this regard.

He said that Pakistan would continue to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of reconciliation. The President said that we look forward to the fifth meeting of the trilateral ‘Core Group’ later this month in the USA.

He said that Islamabad would soon host the 2nd working level meeting of the Joint Commission for Peace Reconciliation.

The President said that the success of Afghanistan transition hinges on the progress in reconciliation with various factions as well as preparedness to Afghan institutions to handle its responsibilities. He said that Pakistan was ready to provide all help in capacity building of Afghan institutions.

Discussing development of Afghanistan, the President highlighted that the two countries direly need energy avenues to meet their developmental requirements.

He said that we should work zealously on all the energy related projects to meet our growing needs and to expedite process of development. The President also emphasized upon the early implementation of CASA-1000 project.

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