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June 15, 2006 -- Pakistani and Afghan officials today agreed to boost bilateral trade and strengthen economic ties, a sign that the two countries may want to improve their strained relations.
The statement of intent was made by Afghan Finance Minister Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi and Salman Shah, an economics adviser to Pakistan's prime minister, at the end of two days of talks in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
Bilateral trade is currently $1.2 billion a year.
Pakistan's endorsement of the hard-line Taliban regime in Afghanistan has ensured that relations have remained touchy since the Taliban's removal, in late 2001, and Afghanistan has repeatedly accused Islamabad of sheltering insurgents associated with the Taliban. Pakistan has denied the allegation.