KABUL - Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari promised on Tuesday that he would order the immediate release of stranded food shipments to Afghanistan. He held out the assurance at a meeting with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, where he arrived on a daylong visit. The two leaders conferred on transit issues between the neighbors, Karzai's office said. Minister of Commerce Anwar ulHaqAhadi also attended the meeting, in which the visiting dignitary was briefed on the problems that Afghan traders faced in Pakistan.
An official of the Chambers of Commerce Industries recently said about 5,000 containers of Afghan traders were stranded in the port city Karachi and other parts of Pakistan. According to a statement from the Presidential Palace, Zardari said he was unaware of the problem and would order the release of the containers on returning to Islamabad.
The two sides decided that Ahadi would visit Islamabad to hold talks with Pakistani authorities on dealing with transit irritants, the statement added.
Zardari extended condolences to the Afghan leader on the death of his brother Ahmad Wali Karzai, who was killed by his guard in Kandahar last week.
The presidents also discussed the overall situation in the region. For lasting peace in the region, they stressed the need for joint efforts to fight terrorism and ward off threats to the stability of Afghanistan and Pakistan.