Gilani for 'neutrality' of Afghanistan in future initiative | world | Hindustan Times
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Gilani for 'neutrality' of Afghanistan in future initiative

world Updated: Jan 10, 2010 18:03 IST

Pakistan has said any future initiative on Afghanistan should maintain that country's "historic neutrality" and ensure that Afghan soil is not used against any of its neighbours.

Islamabad's position was conveyed by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to visiting British Foreign Secretary David Miliband during a meeting on Saturday at the Prime Minister's House.

Future initiatives on Afghanistan should also ensure that country’s "territorial integrity, national reconciliation and peace and stability," Gilani said.

"The historic neutrality of Afghanistan should be maintained with the commitment that Afghan soil will not be used against any of its neighbours," he added.

The forthcoming London Conference on Afghanistan should ensure that consensus developed on the civilian track "should have Afghan ownership for a genuinely Afghan-led reconciliation process", he added.

Gilani also called for setting up an Afghan Re-Settlement Fund to support a programme that would provide incentives for the return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan.

Pakistan currently hosts millions of Afghan refugees.

The premier said Britain and Pakistan should persist with concerted efforts to strengthen their cooperation under their strategic dialogue.

He appreciated the timely disbursement of economic aid and welcomed the scheduling of the second Pakistan-EU Summit in Brussels in April 2010.