Pakistan ready to help Afghanistan: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Monday said that as part of its vision for “Peaceful and Prosperous” neighborhood, Pakistan was ready to help Afghanistan in its quest for peace and development.

Pakistan believes that a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan and the region, the Prime Minister said while talking to a delegation of Afghanistan which led by Afghan Minister of Finance Eklil Ahmad Hakimi called on him here at the PM House.

The Afghan Minister of Finance along with a ministerial delegation is currently visiting Pakistan for the 10th Session of Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission.

While welcoming the Minister and members of the Afghan delegation, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its brotherly relations with Afghanistan.

He expressed his satisfaction over the positive momentum in the bilateral relations under the leadership of President Ashraf Ghani and stressed that new understanding of brotherly relations between the two countries must be sustained and further strengthened.

In this regards, the Prime Minister stressed on the need to boost bilateral trade and economic relations.

The Prime Minister stated that there is a great scope to boost our bilateral trade. In this regards, both sides should work strenuously to meet the trade volume target of US $ 5 billion till 2018, he added.

The Prime Minister also expressed his satisfaction over the resumption of work by Pakistani side on incomplete projects in Afghanistan’s health, education and other sectors and said that Pakistan would extend all possible support to Afghanistan to accomplish all tasks in infrastructure development and energy sector to consolidate long term bilateral and regional partnership.

The Afghan Finance Minister thanked the Prime Minister for his special interest in peace and development of Afghanistan.

He stated that President Ashraf Ghani shares the Prime Minister’s vision of economic development of the region through regional connectivity.

He lauded the Prime Minister’s efforts to improve regional connectivity through rail and road links. Afghanistan, in this regard, can be the transit hub between Pakistan and the Central Asian States, he added.

Referring to CASA-1000 and other connectivity projects, Mr Hakimi stated that early realization of these projects will provide a win-win situation for all the countries of the region.

Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Secretary to the Prime Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad and Secretary Foreign Affairs Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry attended the meeting.

The Afghan delegation comprised of Senior Advisor to the Afghan President Homayoun Qaumi and Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan Janan Mosazai.