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Gillani calls for joint efforts on terror

world Updated: Jul 09, 2008 11:53 IST
Faisal Aziz

Pakistan on Wednesday called for an end to the blame game and focus on the war against terrorism, brushing aside allegations of its involvement in the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

In what was generally seen as a reference to Pakistan, an Afghan presidential spokesman had said on Tuesday the suicide bomb attack in the Afghan capital bore all the hallmarks of a foreign intelligence agency.

The allegation came after Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani had denied his country's involvement in the attack, in response to earlier Afghan accusations.

"We all have to fight against terrorism and extremism. And we should not put excuses, rather we should jointly fight this war," Gillani told a select group of reporters in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Afghanistan has accused Pakistani agents of being behind the April assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai, a mass jail break in Kandahar last month and a string of other attacks.

Karzai threatened last month to send troops across the border to attack militants if Pakistan did not take action.

Referring to the Indian Embassy bombing, Gillani said the United States had already stated that "there was no such act from Pakistan", citing some Pakistani television reports.

"The NATO forces are working there, if they themselves are denying, there is no need to have an allegation or a blame game," he said.

"We want to have excellent relations with our neighbours, whether it is India or Afghanistan. A stable Afghanistan is in our interest. If Afghanistan is stable, we benefit."

Gillani, who was in Kuala Lumpur to attend a summit of Islamic countries, also blamed the trouble in Afghanistan for some of Pakistan's own problems.

"If there is any one bomb, that means there will be less investment, and that is because we are fighting against terrorism and extremism in the forefront," he said.

The Pakistani prime minister said his country was catering to the needs of 3 million Afghan refugees, as well food requirements for its troubled neighbour, while spending more on security and defence.

"When Afghanistan would be stable, the refugees would go with grace, dignity and with respect to their country. And we would be then be free from the worries of law and order in the country," he said.