No time frame for Afghan pullout: NATO
May 8, 2007 - 7:52:50 PM

Islamabad, May 8 - North Atlantic Treaty Organization - Tuesday said no time frame can be given for pull out from Afghanistan.

Addressing a joint press conference with Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri here, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Afghanistan needs long-term stability and therefore NATO cannot give a time frame to leave Afghanistan.

'We are enjoying UN mandate,' Scheffer said, as quoted by the Online news agency.

The NATO chief during his first visit to Pakistan stressed that all stakeholders would have to jointly struggle for maintaining peace in Afghanistan.

Scheffer said NATO was working to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a failed state and added that the alliance will deepen cooperation with Pakistan in its fight against the scourge of terrorism.

Kasuri in his remarks said Pakistan and NATO are stakeholders in maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He maintained that military operations are not enough to foster peace in Afghanistan. 'Reconstruction and development process will have to be geared up.'

Earlier during his meeting with the visiting NATO chief, President Pervez Musharraf said Pakistan, in the general interest of the entire region, wishes peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Scheffer called on Musharraf at the presidential camp office in Rawalpindi.

On the issue of controversial fencing along the Afghan border, Musharraf told the NATO official that Pakistan is fencing Afghan border at specific points to check the movement of terrorists.

Scheffer had arrived in Pakistan on Monday and his further travel plans were not disclosed for security reasons but a visit to Kabul was likely.

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