MNAs call for strengthening Pak-Afghan ties for durable regional peace

ISLAMABAD: Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) from both sides of the divide on Wednesday stressed the need for strengthening of Pak-Afghan relations for a durable peace in the region and called for dialogue between the two countries with open heart.

Welcoming Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi and his delegation in the National Assembly, they said frequent exchanges of such visits would further strengthen the relations between the two countries.

They said that Pak-Afghan relations were deep rooted in history, culture, stronger people-to-people contacts and shared interests. Both the countries should hold friendly talks to resolve their issues, he added.

Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, while welcoming the Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan and his delegation, said the visit would usher in a new era of strengthening parliamentary relations between the two countries.

Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah said both Pakistan and Afghanistan had witnessed so many hardships and were now gradually coming out of the same.

He expressed the hope that with the passage of time ties between the two countries would be further improved.

Defence Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif, welcoming the delegation, said both the countries had been passing through hardships but now the situation was improving as the Afghan peace process had been initiated.

He said that Pakistan was the largest stakeholder in a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. The future of both the countries was inter-linked. Pakistan wanted an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led solution of the Afghan issue.

He said relationships between the leadership, armies and intelligence agencies of the two countries were also heading positively.

Shireen Mazari of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) said both the countries should sit together to resolve their issues in a friendly way.

Awami National Party’s (ANP) Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said both Pakistan and Afghanistan should sit together and resolve their issues with sincerity. Their peace and prosperity were linked with peace in the region.

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai said the region was passing through a critical juncture and the time had come that the leadership of two countries should work seriously for peace in the region.

Convener Pak Afghan Parliamentary Friendship Group Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Rashid Godail of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Sahibzada Tariq Ullah of Jamaat-e-Islami, Federal Minister for Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani and Haji Shah G Gul Afridi also spoke on the occasion and said exchanges of such delegations and people-to-people contacts would strengthen relations between the two countries.

They said the time had come that both the countries should jointly work for peace in the region.