Pakistan’s inclusion in Afghan peace process necessary: Gilani
QUETTA: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said here on Wednesday that Pakistan should be included in the Afghan-led reconciliation process and the future strategy for Afghanistan should be decided with its consultation.
Addressing a press conference at the end of his two-day visit to Quetta, he said Pakistan supported reconciliation in Afghanistan and the process should be led and owned by that country.
Replying to a question about Pakistan`s role in the process, he said there was a core group comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States, adding that the reconciliation strategy should be decided by the group.
Mr Gilani said Pakistan had suffered a lot because of decisions taken 30 years ago and as a result of which “our Afghan brothers, sisters and children were still living in refugee camps”.
“Therefore, we believe that the strategy for the Afghanistan-led reconciliation process should be decided in consultation with Islamabad so that Pakistan should not be destabilised.”
The prime minister said Pakistan and Afghanistan had devised a two-tier strategy. “One is that the chief executives, foreign ministers, army chiefs and intelligence chiefs of the two countries and former president and chairman of the Peace Council of Afghanistan Burhanuddin Rabbani should meet so that whatever strategy is devised it should be in the interest of the entire world.”
Responding to a question about suspension of US military aid, the prime minister expressed concern over statements of US officials. “Pakistan has its concern and reservations over US statements regarding military aid to Pakistan.”
However, he said it was yet to be confirmed whether the US had formally suspended military aid.
Mr Gilani said the entire the world was enjoying peace and prosperity because of Pakistan`s role in the war on terror. It is Pakistan which has been fighting terrorism and extremism for world peace.
He said Pakistan suffered financial and human losses in the war against terror. The relationship between Pakistan and the US, he said, was based on mutual interests and the war against terror was `our own war`.
On a question about a report of a fake vaccination drive allegedly launched by the US to trace the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, he said it was a sensitive issue and he would not comment on it.
The prime minister reiterated his offer of talks with Baloch nationalist leaders living aboard and said the government was ready to hold talks with them on all issues for the sake of peace in Balochistan. He said the governor and chief minister of Balochistan would also participate in the dialogue. “The governor and chief minister will decide with whom the talks should be held,” he said.
About the bullet-riddled bodies of missing persons found in Balochistan, he said a judicial commission was already looking into the matter.