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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Afghan press eyes Musharraf visit
Afghan newsstand
Kabul papers are divided over Gen Musharraf's visit
As Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf arrives in Kabul, Afghan newspapers express both anticipation and some reservations.

Gen Musharraf will hold talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on how to combat the activities of the Taleban and other militants operating in their shared border area.

The state-run Kabul Times greets the visit. "President Pervez Musharraf is welcome in Kabul," it says.

The daily hopes that the meeting between the two leaders might "open up a new chapter in relations between the two neighbouring Muslim countries".
The leaders will make statements once again about the restoration of adequate security
Cheragh

Another state-run paper, Hewad, also believes the two men will "hold transparent talks" to solve the long-running dispute over regional security problems, in which both countries have blamed each other for failing to halt cross-border raids.

"Terrorism poses a threat to Pakistan, Afghanistan and the entire region today," it says, hoping that the leaders will "discover effective ways of overcoming" the challenges presented by the terror threat.

Scepticism

The country's independent papers are less optimistic about the two presidents coming up with productive results.

The Kabul daily Cheragh points out that the meeting is only the latest instalment in a long series of encounters, and questions Pakistan's commitment to real progress.

The leaders will probably "make statements once again about the restoration of adequate security", it predicts.

However, it says, "as experience has shown", previous pledges from Pakistan and its leaders "have not been fulfilled".

Pagah, an independent daily based in the western province of Herat, points out that continuing claims of Pakistani interference in Afghan affairs "have damaged Pakistan in the public's opinion".

It also wonders if the visit might in fact be related to another issue: Pakistan's forthcoming elections, scheduled for 2007.

"Observers believe Mr Musharraf is trying to win Afghanistan's support" for his campaign, it says.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO
Country profile: Afghanistan
26 May 04 |  Country profiles

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