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Karzai, Musharraf vow joint anti-terror drive

By Mudassir Ali Shah

KABUL: Afghanistan and Pakistan renewed their resolve on Thursday to push ahead with their joint campaign against terrorism, which posed a grave threat to both countries.

The declaration came in an hour-long telephonic conversation between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf, a senior official at the Presidential Palace said.

Karim Rahimi, spokesman for President Karzai, said that the two leaders discussed the gamut of bilateral relations in a frank and candid manner. “They agreed to continue high-level discussions on expanding mutually beneficial relations,” he said.

He added that Musharraf and Karzai conferred in detail on peace and security issues, the ongoing campaign against terrorism and ways to strengthen bilateral relations. “The Afghan president made the telephone call after 7:00pm,” the spokesman revealed. The presidents would exchange visits, for which dates would be firmed up later on, the spokesman said.

Rahimi skirted the question when asked if the border-fencing proposal, floated by President Pervez Musharraf during his recent US trip, was also discussed during the lengthy conversation. Answering a query, the spokesman disclosed Deputy Minister Zarar Ahmad Moqbel had been named acting interior minister after Ali Ahmad Jalali resigned a day earlier.

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