Afghanistan's foreign minister says Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has pledged complete support for a joint effort to root out terrorism in the region.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah told reporters in Islamabad Tuesday that the two countries agree they should collaborate on security efforts for a long international campaign against terrorism. He said terrorist bases in his country have been destroyed, but that al-Qaida and Taleban leaders are still running free.
Mr. Abdullah remarks came at the end of a two-day visit to Islamabad where he met with President Musharraf and other Pakistani officials.
He also said Afghanistan has agreed to begin releasing next week the first of about 900 Pakistani prisoners being held in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taleban government.
But Mr. Abdullah strongly denied media reports that Afghanistan has handed over Pakistani prisoners to India so New Delhi can show them to be infiltrators from Pakistan. India has also denied the charge.
At the meeting, Pakistani and Afghan officials also discussed ways for the neighboring countries to remove obstacles to trade. They exchanged ideas on a free trade agreement and a common tariff policy to reduce smuggling.
Earlier this week, Mr. Abdullah said he believes al-Qaida forces are being directed from outside Afghanistan. He also said he thinks the leader of the terrorist organization, Osama bin Laden, is in northwest Pakistan.
Many of the Pakistani prisoners arrested by Afghan authorities were detained for joining Taleban and al-Qaida forces when the United States launched its war to topple the Taleban last year.