Afghan President Reassures Pakistan Following India Deal

Posted October 5th, 2011 at 5:50 am (UTC-5)
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Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has sought to ease Pakistan's concerns following his country's recent partnership deal with India.

Mr. Karzai described Pakistan as a “twin brother”, saying that the agreement signed with India will not affect the two countries' relationship.

Mr. Karzai spoke in New Delhi Wednesday where he is ending a two-day visit.

On Tuesday, Mr. Karzai signed a strategic partnership agreement with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh aimed at strengthening ties and increasing trade between the two countries.

The agreement covers a wide range of issues, including security cooperation, trade and economic ties, and social and cultural exchanges. It is the first comprehensive pact the Afghan government has finalized with any foreign ally since the start of the country's war in 2001.

Mr. Karzai's visit comes as regional tensions are on the rise. Both Indian and Afghan authorities have accused Pakistan of creating unrest in Afghanistan, a charge that Pakistan denies.

On Monday, Mr. Karzai again accused Pakistan of playing a “double game” in dealing with extremists. Afghanistan's intelligence agency says it has evidence that last month's killing of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani was planned in Pakistan.

India also accuses Pakistan of plotting attacks on Indian targets within Afghanistan, including two bomb attacks on its embassy in 2008 and 2009.