President Asif Ali Zardari said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan's national interest as he told a gathering of NATO and international partners that Islamabad believes in partnerships based on trust and respect. He was speaking at the expanded ISAF meeting attended by heads of state and government here during the two-day NATO summit. The President expressed Islamabad's support for peaceful transition in Afghanistan but urged a long-term commitment to ensure stability in the Pakistan's landlocked western neighbor. “This is a defining moment for Afghanistan and the region as a whole. I stand here to confirm our belief that a peaceful, prosperous and stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan's national interest.” “Our destinies are inter-linked,” he declared of the close linkages between Pakistan and Afghanistan. President Zardari, speaking at a time when NATO and international partners look to end their combat mission in Afghanistan by 2014, emphasized the “international commitment to Afghanistan must be firm and complete” in the post-withdrawal period.
APP-Chicago, May 21, 2012