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Musharraf Addresses Closing Jirga Session in Afghanistan


Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf told more than 600 Afghan and Pakistani tribal leaders today that the two countries must work together to end the rise of extremism and violence along their border.

In an address to the closing session of a four-day tribal "peace jirga" in Kabul, General Musharraf said, "along with Afghanistan, Pakistan has also witnessed the rise of militancy and violence attacking" their societies. He added - in his words - "we must rescue our societies from this danger and work together until we defeat the forces of extremism and terrorism."

The gathering in Afghanistan has been focusing on issues dividing Afghanistan and Pakistan. The grand jirga is aimed at improving security and strengthening bilateral relations.

President Musharraf met briefly with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, before speaking to the jirga.

Many Afghans have expressed hope that the conference will help reduce violence in both countries.

A second conference is planned for Pakistan at a later date.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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