ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that Pakistan is pursuing a policy of strengthening relations with Afghanistan.
He was briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.
He said that with a view to further enhancing people-to-people exchanges, Pakistan was working on modernization of the visa system and facilities at border crossing points.
The Adviser informed that to further deepen the cultural and educational linkages between the two countries, the Government was also focusing on efforts to increase facilities for Afghan students in Pakistan’s educational institutions.
He said the government has announced another 3000 scholarships for Afghan students in the field of higher education after utilization of the existing 3000 scholarships.
On the Afghan transit trade, he urged the Afghan government to convene the next meeting of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority at the earliest for revising and strengthening the authority.
Sartaj Aziz underlined the importance of close engagement between the two sides on connectivity projects in infrastructure and energy.
He said that 500 million dollars economic assistance from Pakistan could be utilized for initiating these connectivity projects.
On the issue of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, he reiterated that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and there was need of focused efforts for a politically negotiated settlement for lasting peace in Afghanistan.
He said Pakistan remained committed to continued efforts for facilitating an Afghan-owned Afghan-led peace process.—Radio Pakistan