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Rediff.com  » News » Afghanistan for close ties with India, Pakistan

Afghanistan for close ties with India, Pakistan

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April 11, 2006 13:27 IST

Afghanistan on Tuesday said that it favoured a tripolar structure of cooperation involving India and Pakistan for economic betterment and quicker progress of the region.

"The tripolar structure of cooperation among India, Pakistan and Afghanistan would release the best energy of this region and bring quicker progress and economic betterment to it," Afghan President Hamid Karzai said at a breakfast meeting with editors in New Delhi.

Karzai said he had discussed this issue during talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who held the same view as well. "It is something that we really need. We should not see this as political one," Karzai, who is on a three-day visit, said.

On whether the transit problem faced by India in reaching goods to Afghanistan via Pakistan had been sorted out, Karzai said he would pursue the matter with Islamabad. New Delhi has been complaining about Pakistan not allowing transit facilities for its goods to Afghanistan, forcing New Delhi to take a longer and expensive route.

When pointed out that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had linked giving such a facility to the resolution of the Kashmir problem, Karzai evaded a direct reply, saying it was an issue between India and Pakistan. India has outright rejected Musharraf's suggestion contending that while it favoured the resolution of all outstanding issues, it cannot accept any such conditions.

Karzai said Afghanistan wanted India and Pakistan to sort out their problems. Even if the Kashmir problem was not solved, they should address other issues in a manner that will benefit the people of the region.

Asked if Pakistan is doing enough to combat terrorism, he said it was working together with the rest of the international community. "What we want is a more effective fight on all sides. All partners should carry more effective fight against terrorism. With more coordination and more exchange of information, we will be making much more progress," he said.

About Musharraf being upset with him over reports from Kabul that Taliban and al Qaeda militants continued to operate from Pakistani soil, Karzai said, "Musharraf and I have a very close relationship. We are friends and between friends at times there are moments when frank words are exchanged...I will give him a call within a few days."

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