Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met over breakfast on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit on Sunday, July 3.

Amid accusations of Pakistan’s intelligence service ISI, helping the terrorists plan the July 7 bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul and the recent reversal of decision by Pakistani government to place the intelligence agency under civilian control, the Karzai, Gilani meeting held in Colombo proved beneficial for Pak-Afghan ties.

According to a joint statement, the leaders recalled strong bonds of brotherhood between the two countries and agreed to coordinate their efforts to stop cross border terrorism.

A day before, while delivering a speech at the summit, President Hamid Karzai had accused Pakistan of not having done enough to rein in terrorists.
“Terrorism and terrorist sanctuaries were gaining greater ground there,” he said.

President Karzai had earlier also threatened to invade Pakistan in chase of Taliban insurgents on Pakistani soil, saying his war-torn country had a right to do so.

However, Prime Minister Gilani at the summit, did not respond to these allegations and instead emphasized that it was the joint responsibility of all countries of the region to get rid of terrorism.

So far, the United States has played a vital role in resolving what could have been a crisis between Islamabad and Kabul.

According to Dawn Newspaper, in an interview on Friday, August 1, Pakistan’s Ambassador to United States Husain Haqqani, said that the understanding reached between Pakistan and the United States during the prime minister’s visit to fight terrorism will produce results in the next few days.

Mr Haqqani said Pakistan’s concerns “about its sovereignty and about civilian authority and control and its concerns relating to Afghanistan and India” would also be addressed.

Similarly, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher, also expressed his view that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was determined to “conquer the problems of extremism and terrorism.”

“I do remember it’s a new government. There are enormous challenges,” he said.

Finally, for opposition leader in the National Assembly of Pakistan Ch Pervaiz Elahi, who has been claiming that Prime Minister Gilani’s visit to the United States could not attain the objectives set by the government, the success achieved at the two-day SAARC Summit is evidently enough to keep him silent for some time.

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