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Pakistani Leader Urges Closer Cooperation with Afghanistan in War on Terror


Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has personally congratulated Afghan leader Hamid Karzai on his victory in last month's presidential election. During a day-long trip to Kabul Saturday, the Pakistani leader said the two neighbors must increase cooperation in the war on terror to ensure success.

Pakistani President Musharraf is the first foreign leader to visit Kabul to congratulate Mr. Karzai on his victory in the October 9 presidential election in Afghanistan.

The two leaders are key allies in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, President Musharraf and President Karzai said they discussed the war on terrorism as well as bilateral political and economic relations.

Mr. Musharraf said the destinies of Afghanistan and Pakistan are interlinked, and both countries will have to succeed in the war against terrorism.

"We both have to succeed for the sake of Afghanistan and for the sake of Pakistan," said Pervez Musharraf. "Therefore, we are together in the fight against terrorism. And we will fight it offensively, and cooperate in all manners to succeed."

President Musharraf says the two countries need to increase cooperation in their anti-terror efforts.

"There is tremendous cooperation going on, and we would like this cooperation to continue and be more strengthened," he said. "The intelligence side must cooperate with each other in locating and identifying areas of successful operations against terrorists."

President Musharraf praised Afghanistan for a successful presidential election last month. He emphasized efforts Pakistan made to prevent Islamic militants in the border region from disrupting the polls.

"We blocked the routes," continued Pakistan's president. "We used the army to establish blocks, so that there was no interference by the terrorists."

U.S and Afghan officials believe fugitive members of Afghanistan's former Taleban regime and the al-Qaida terror network are using Pakistani border areas to launch anti-government attacks inside Afghanistan.

President Musharraf said Pakistan has already pledged $100 million for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and is also looking at running power lines and a railway across the border.

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