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ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has stressed for collective international efforts to address the impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The speaker said that the situation in Afghanistan warrants immediate steps; otherwise, the ultimate sufferer would be the marginalised Afghan population.

He expressed these views, while talking to the United States Congressmen, Gregory Meeks, and Ami Bera, who called on the speaker at the Parliament House on Monday.

Qaiser said that the international community should immediately step forward and address the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

He said that in case of delay in that regard, the ultimate sufferers would be the old aged, women and children.

The speaker stressed for creating border markets or border economic zones, so that the Afghan economy self-sustains, instead of depending on foreign assistance.

He said that Pakistan does not want terrorism to prop up again in Afghanistan.

The speaker said that Pakistan and the US share the same human values and liberties. The Parliament of Pakistan had legislated on protection of rights of women, children, religious monitories, and trans-genders.

He said that media was an important part of governance thus, protection of their rights was imperative so that they could perform their duties without fear or favour.

He informed that a journalist protection law has been recently enacted by the Parliament for ensuring their safety and welfare.

The speaker said that Pakistan owes to the Pakistani diaspora who have immense contributions towards their motherland.

He said that recent grant of right to vote to the overseas Pakistanis is realisation of the commitment, the present government made to them.

Apprising about the Election Reforms Laws, the speaker said that the recently-enacted laws aim to ensure transparency in the electoral process in Pakistan.

Referring to the Pakistan-US relations, the speaker said that Pakistan values its longstanding relationship with the USA.

He said that constructive engagement between both the countries would promote peace, security, and development in the region.

He acknowledged the contributions by the USA in terms of infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and creating economic opportunities. Replying to a query by the congressmen, the speaker said that the present government had legislated to ensure international transparency, empowered the State Bank in decision making, besides incentivising the economic and manufacturing sectors to achieve their potential.

He said that Special Economic Zones had been established under the CPEC with incentives and tax exemptions, which would resultantly create economic opportunities and jobs in the country.

The US congressmen thanked Speaker Qaiser for providing them an opportunity to exchange of views.

Meeks agreed that Parliamentary engagement would strengthen existing bilateral relations. He appreciated the Pakistani leadership for amicably handling the economic crisis during the Covid-19. He also termed contributions of Pakistan for climate change and renewable energies, immense. Pakistan was playing its responsible role in mitigating the effect of global warming.

He said that a major portion of his constituents was of Pakistani descent and he would take the good news with him back to them regarding grant of right of vote.

US Congressman Bera also termed relations between the US and Pakistan based on trust and cooperation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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