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Sunday, May 24, 2009
Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan leaders discuss joint strategy to tackle terrorism
TEHRAN (APP) -- Leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan will meet today to discuss and hammer out a joint strategy to tackle the issue of terrorism and militancy, confronting the region.
Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, who reached Tehran on Saturday evening, had proposed this trilateral summit when he met President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and President Hamid Karzai on the sidelines of 10th ECO Summit in Tehran in March.
“The main issues to be discussed in the summit include terrorism -- which has taken grip over the whole region and also the world -- drug trafficking and human trafficking,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to Iran M.B. Abbasi told APP.
He said these issues are confined not only to this region but also have a far-reaching impact on the whole world.
“We are making history, as it is for the first time that Iran is being equally integrated with the issues that Pakistan and Afghanistan are facing”, he said.
“We will come out with solutions for problems that we might perceive in future,” he said.
Ambassador Abbasi termed the holding of Pakistan-Afghan-Iran summit an achievement of Pakistan. He said President Zardari during his visit to Tehran in March proposed that Iran, being an important player of the region, must be included and should be on board to tackle the issues confronting this region.
Besides attending the trilateral summit, President Zardari will also hold bilateral meetings with his Iranian and Afghan counterparts for increased cooperation in trade, economic and other spheres on bilateral front.
President Zardari and the Iranian President during their bilateral meeting are likely to review the whole range of bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields, with particular focus on trade, energy, communication and infrastructure.
With Pakistani Advisor on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim Hussain already in Tehran to hold meeting on the multi-billion dollars gas pipeline project, which is currently in the finalization stages, a major headway is expected during President Zardari’s visit.
As Pakistan is facing severe electricity crises, President Zardari is expected to seek Iranian cooperation with particular reference to the proposed 1000 MW power supply from Iran to Pakistan via Balochistan.
President Zardari will also hold bilateral meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai during which the two sides are expected to discuss increased cooperation in various areas.
They are likely to discuss trade and economy and increased cooperation in tackling the challenges of terrorism and militancy.
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Advisor to PM on Finance Shaukat Tarin and senior officials will assist President Zardari at the summit as well as during his bilateral meetings.