Pakistan and Afghanistan on Saturday agreed on the formation of a joint commission to carry forward the reconciliation process, following the withdrawal of foreign troops from the insurgency-torn country.
“I have assured President (Hamid) Karzai that Pakistan strongly supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process for reconciliation and peace,” said Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani while addressing a joint press conference with the Afghan President in Kabul.
The two leaders, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), held exhaustive talks at the Presidential Palace and described the parleys as “historic”.
Premier Gilani said that he in consultations with President Karzai, Chairman Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani and members of the High Peace Council, had agreed to establish the two-tier Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Commission for facilitating and promoting reconciliation and peace.
The first tier of commission will include the chief executives, foreign ministers along with chiefs of the military and intelligence services of the two countries while the second tier will comprise senior officials of foreign ministries, military and intelligence services.
He extended Pakistan’s full support to the efforts of President Karzai and the High Peace Council, for initiating an inclusive process of grand national reconciliation in which all Afghans not only have a stake but the process also promises the future peace and stability in their country.
“We firmly believe that this process must have full Afghan ownership,” said Prime Minister Gilani, adding, the restoration of stability and peace in Afghanistan was essential for peace, security and well-being of the people of Pakistan.
President Karzai, while speaking on the tripartite arrangement, said that his country welcomed consultations with the United States in this regard.
He said Pakistan’s role as a facilitator was also important and added that whatever Prime Minister Gilani said was a “fundamental shift” of Pakistan from its views in the past. “We today have clarity, which never existed earlier,” Karzai said.
He described the message from Prime Minister Gilani on the reconciliation process as very “clear” and “important” and said that the two sides held detailed talks on all aspects, including the situation in the region and bilateral political, economic and trade relations.
Earlier, citing unnamed foreign ministry official, the APP reported that Prime Minister Gilani has conveyed Pakistan’s support to an “Afghan-led” solution for the political settlement of Afghanistan and warned that an “outside formula” was not going to work.
During his meeting with President Karzai at the presidential palace, emphasized on shaping the political settlement that was “home-based” besides being “durable and sustainable”.