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ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has said that a political solution to Afghan issue was imperative for bringing peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.

The speaker said this in a conversation with Head of Afghan Masood Foundation Ahmad Wali Massoud who met the speaker in Islamabad, this evening along with a delegation on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Pak-Afghan relations and the political situation in the region and issues of mutual interest came under discussion.

The speaker said that the Afghan peace process would be initiation of an era of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region.

He reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

He said that Pakistan strongly desired a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan which was in the best interest of Pakistan and the entire region.

He said that Pakistani and Afghan people were bound in everlasting ties of religion, brotherhood, history, and culture.

He said that Pakistan is steadfast in its support to peace efforts in Afghanistan.

He said that the parties to the peace process should avail this opportunity and engage constructively for ending decades’ old conflict in Afghanistan.

He said that positive progress in the peace negotiations depicts the commitment of the Afghan leadership to the peace process.

He said that the people of Afghanistan long for peace in the country.

He said that there was no military solution to the Afghan issue.

Referring to the initiatives by the Parliament and the Executive, the speaker said that Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group in the National Assembly taking the lead discussed and forwarded recommendations for removing impediments in strengthening bilateral relations and trade.

He said that Pakistan had opened borders for their Afghan brethren during the Covid-19 apart from removing tariff barriers and impediments in Afghan bilateral and transit trade. He also said that Afghan brethren would also benefit from the visa facilitation for visitors, students specially patients.

The speaker informed that 6,000 scholarships are being offered for Afghan students.

He said that Afghanistan due to its geographical location could serve as the gateway to Central Asia bringing CPEC benefits to Afghanistan and to the Central Asia and beyond. He said that establishment of border markets would enhance economic activities along both sides of the border.

He appreciated Efforts of the Masood Foundation in education, health and relief activities in Afghanistan.

Masood Foundation Head Ahmad Wali Masood said that Afghanistan appreciates Pakistan’s efforts for peace in Afghanistan.

He said that Afghan nation value Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for decades.

He agreed that the involvement of all the parties is essential for lasting peace in Afghanistan.

He said that Afghan people strongly desire end to decades’ old conflict in the country. He agreed that the dividends of peace would not only be reaped by Afghanistan but the entire region.

Ahmad Wali Masood said that people on both sides of the border were tied in eternal bonds due to their close affinities. He expressed his gratitude to Speaker Asad Qaiser for this initiative for bringing the political leadership and people of both the countries closer. The visit of Ahmad Wali Masood is part of Pakistan’s ongoing policy to reach out to political leadership in Afghanistan to forge common understanding on the Afghan peace process and deepen people-to-people linkages.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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