Karzai to discuss war review in Pakistan | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 19, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 19, 2009

Karzai to discuss war review in Pakistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is due to visit Pakistan today for talks likely to cover Islamabad's controversial peace deal with extremists and a US review of the "war on terror", officials said.
The trip was announced by the Pakistan foreign ministry, which said Karzai would meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Afghan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta told reporters the visit would focus largely on efforts to quell mounting Islamic extremism on both sides of the two countries' porous border.
This included a US review of the seven-year "war on terror" that brought US troubleshooter Richard Holbrooke to the region last week.
"We, as two neighbouring countries, want to exchange our views and thoughts and present our views about the issue," Spanta told reporters.
Both Afghanistan and Pakistan have been invited to contribute to the review.
Also on the table would be "issues like Swat or the ceasefire," said the minister, who is expected to join Karzai in Islamabad.
Pakistan on Monday signed a deal with a pro-Taliban cleric recognising the rule of Islamic sharia law in a northwest region on the Afghan border, in a bid to end violence concentrated particularly in the Swat valley.
Afghan and US officials have accused Pakistan of not doing enough to eradicate extremist "safe havens" used by Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters to launch attacks across the border in Afghanistan.
A spokesman for Karzai said Afghanistan was watching developments in Swat "with concern".
Nato, which has deployed around 55,000 troops in Afghanistan, has also expressed concern over the sharia deal, which analysts has warned could embolden militants rather than persuade them to disarm.
The appointments of Holbrooke, and British and Germany envoys to neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan, underscores a wide international re-focus on the threat of Islamic militancy from the region.
US President Barack Obama has decided to send 17,000 more soldiers to fight an escalating Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, where government officials demanded that the new troops deploy along the Pakistan border.

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