08 December, 2006

Grand jirga negotiations.

As reported previously, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri has been in Kabul discussing the prospects for a cross-border Grand Jirga with his Afghan counterpart, Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, and with President Karzai. Little progress seems to have been made. According to the BBC the talks have ended with no date being set. After meeting with Kasuri, President Karzai said that,

... he was running out of patience with cross-border attacks. His office said in a statement: "The president emphasised that the Afghan people desired to have strong and friendly relations with Pakistan.
Dawn adds that Karzai warned that violence in Afghanistan was also damaging to Pakistan's interests. Gulf News gives Kasuri's response to that as,
"We feel hurt when accusations are levelled against the government of Pakistan if there are acts of terrorism in Afghanistan."
Now the politicians' public ritual of exchanging set positions and (encouragingly restrained) insults has taken place, perhaps their officials will get on with the detailed negotiations.

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