Karzai prolonged his visit to Pakistan for a day at Sharif's request and the two leaders discussed regional security issues in the hill station of Murree. The meeting, which is understood to have focused on core and much harder issues, was also attended by Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

"Pakistan and Afghanistan have to work closely to bring peace in the region. We have common challenges and huge opportunities before us. Our security and future prosperity is linked to that of Afghanistan in multiple ways," Sharif said.

“Pakistan attaches importance to a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan," he said. Sharif underlined that Pakistan will continue to support the Afghan reconciliation process.

Karzai left for Kabul shortly after Sharif hosted a lunch hosted in his honour at Murree. The Prime Minister's Special Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, saw him off at Nur Khan airbase.

Earlier, Sharif and Karzai held a one-on-one meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday morning and exchanged views on bilateral issues and the regional situation, with particular focus on the withdrawal of US-led NATO troops from Afghanistan next year.

They also discussed the border situation and cooperation in the war against terrorism. Karzai once again requested the Pakistan government to assist in the Afghan reconciliation process to bring peace and stability to his country.


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