ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 23 (UPI) -- Pakistan's prime minister, back from a productive China trip, sent his foreign secretary to Kabul carrying a "special message," his office said.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, who visited China last week following the May 2 killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces in Pakistan, asked his foreign secretary, Salman Bashir, to "deliver the prime minister's special message to Afghan President Hamid Karzai," Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported Monday, quoting a statement from Gilani's office.
No details of Bashir's trip or about the message were given.
The report said during Gilani's meetings with Chinese leaders, the two countries agreed to coordinate efforts on the Afghan situation.
Dawn quoted a close Gilani aide that through his message, the prime minister wants to take Karzai on board on his talks with Chinese leaders on Afghanistan.
Dawn quoted diplomatic sources that Gilani has lately been seeking to set up an alliance among Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. Gilani's government considers China as Pakistan's "best and most trusted friend."
Among agreements reached in China during Gilani's visit, Pakistan will immediately get 50 JF-17 Thunder combat jets from China fitted with more sophisticated avionics and would be fully funded by China, a Pakistani official said.
Pakistan's relations with the United States remain strained since the U.S. forces launched a raid on bin Laden's compound in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad.
Dawn said Pakistan may want to speed up Gilani's alliance effort after Manmohan Singh, prime minister of Pakistan's arch rival India, visited Kabul this month during which India and Afghanistan reportedly announced a strategic partnership.