Trust key in ties with Afghanistan: Khar

Hina Khar

Rubbishing the idea that it was desiring "strategic depth" in neighbouring Afghanistan, Pakistan has sought a trust-based relationship with Kabul that sets aside the past associated with support for the Taliban.

"If we are looking for any strategic depth it cannot be achieved militarily or come through a proxy war. The only way to do is through building trust with the Afghan state," Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said.

She called for a relationship with Afghanistan based on trust and for leaving behind the past associated with interference in Kabul's affairs and support for the Taliban. "Recognise what we are doing now without overshadowing it with whatever has been Pakistan's historical baggage. We are moving out of that hangover," Khar said at a meeting with a group of Pakistani journalists on Friday.

Her remarks came a week after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani appealed to all Afghan militant groups, including the Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami, to join the process for peace and reconciliation.

Khar said Afghans should decide for themselves at the level of the 'Loya Jirga' or grand assembly about the broader framework for peace talks.

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