NYTIMES: Karzai in Pakistan to Mend Ties
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan signaled an improvement in relations between their countries after an unusually cordial meeting here on Wednesday and called for greater cooperation in fighting terrorism.
Mr. Karzai was on a two-day visit here in the Pakistani capital, where he would also meet with the opposition politician Benazir Bhutto, a statement from the Afghan president’s office said. Ms. Bhutto is taking part in parliamentary elections scheduled for January.
The two presidents have regularly leveled harsh accusations at each other over the last two years since a Taliban resurgence shook the Afghan government’s control of much of southern Afghanistan. Mr. Karzai has blamed Pakistan for harboring the Taliban and militant training camps, which he says have allowed the insurgents to stage a comeback, while Mr. Musharraf has blamed lawlessness in Afghanistan and Mr. Karzai’s failure to govern for the creeping insurgency.
But the two men emerged Wednesday from their discussions closer to agreement on how to deal with the militants, who over the last year have extended their reach inside Pakistan.
Mr. Musharraf said their talks focused on the need for cooperation on intelligence to meet “this menace of extremism and terrorism, which is destroying both our countries.”
“I think we have developed very strong understanding of each other’s problems and we look forward to cooperation and coordination in all fields for our mutual benefit,” Mr. Musharraf said during a news briefing, which was broadcast live by Pakistan’s state-run television.
“The meeting was productive in all aspects,” Mr. Karzai said.
- THIS MEETING - (BETWEEN TWO MUSLIMS) - COMES RIGHT IN THE HEELS OF MAJOR TRIPS TO KABUL BY PM BROWN, PRESIDENT SARKOZY, PM RUDD, AND PM PRODI.
- THESE VISITS' PROXIMITY TO CHRISTMAS IS NOT A FACTOR - IMHO.
- AS I POSTED A FEW DAYS AGO, I FEEL SOMETHING MAJOR IS UP....
- PERHAPS A MAJOR OFFENSIVE IN BAJAUR - NOW THAT OUR FORTIFICATIONS ON THE AFGHAN SIDE AT THE GHAKI PASS ARE FINISHED.