ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said peace in Afghanistan was imperative for regional economic development and connectivity and Pakistan would stand firm with an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
“Afghan peace process would be beginning of an era of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region,” he said in a conversation with Afghan president’s special representative Omar Daudzai, who met with him in Islamabad along with a delegation. During the meeting Thursday, Pak-Afghan relations and the political situation in the region and issues of mutual interest were discussed.
The speaker said Pakistan strongly desires a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan which is in the best interest of Pakistan and the entire region. He said Pakistani and Afghan people were not only neighbours and brothers but also have strong historic linkages. He said constructive engagement between political leaderships had brought two nations more closer. He said Pakistan has consistently supported an inclusive, broad-based and political peace effort in Afghanistan. He opined that the parties to the peace process should avail this opportunity and engage constructively for durable peace in Afghanistan. He said positive progression in the peace negotiations depicts the commitment of the Afghan leadership in the peace process. He said there was no military solution to the Afghan issue. Apprising the special representative of the initiatives by the parliament and the executive, Asad Qaiser said Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group in National Assembly taking the lead discussed and forwarded recommendations for removing impediments in boosting bilateral ties and trade. He said Pakistan had removed tariff barriers and impediments in Afghan bilateral and transit trade. He said Afghan traders, students, visitors especially patients would greatly benefit from the liberalised visa policy. He said Afghanistan due to its geographical location could serve as the gateway to Central Asia bringing CPEC benefits not only to Afghanistan but also the Central Asia and beyond. He proposed establishment of border markets for enhancing economic activities on both sides of the border.
Special Representative Omar Daudzai said government and people of Afghanistan are appreciative of Pakistan’s efforts for peace in Afghanistan. He said Afghan nation values Pakistan for its assistance for infrastructure development in Afghanistan especially for hosting Afghan refugees for decades. He agreed that the all parties to the peace process need to pursue it through perseverance and commitment for lasting peace in Afghanistan. He agreed that not only Afghanistan but the entire region would reap the dividends of peace.