KABUL - Friendship and lasting cooperative ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan are the way forward for regional stability and peace, President Hamid Karzai has said. "Please take a message of deepest love from Afghanistan to Pakistan," Karzai told visiting lawmakers on the conclusion of the 5th round of Pak-Afghan Parliamentarians Dialogue in Kabul.
The Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), which has facilitated four joint workshops of Pakistani and Afghan legislators since 2008, said the two-day dialogue focused on counterterrorism strategies of the two countries.
Deputy Chairman of Senate Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali and Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi jointly leaded the Pakistani delegation, the civil society group said in a statement on Tuesday.
The team included Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi, Fauzia Fakhar-uz-Zaman, Najma Hameed, Mrs. Saeeda Iqbal, Afrasiab Khattak, Dr. Abdul Malik, Malik Ahmad Khan, Dr. Ayub Shaikh, Nadeem Afzal Gondal, Pervez Khan, Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi, Humayun Saifullah Khan and Awais Khan Leghari.
Pakistani MPs said their legislature, reflecting all political shades, stood firmly behind strengthening of ties between the neighbours. They said only through people-to-people dialogue could the two countries move forward on removing mistrust.
Karzai was presented with a copy of a joint resolution agreed to by the MPs. The resolution says both nations were victims of terrorism and joint efforts are needed to address the scourge.
Agreeing that the blame game is counter-productive, they stressed parliamentary dialogue and oversight for mutual cooperation in areas such as intelligence-sharing, improved coordination on counterterrorism operations.
They called for controlling the growth and supply of drugs fuelling terrorist-financing in the region, and enhancing border security management to help the region rid itself of terrorism.
The two sides agreed that greater facilitation, support and opportunities be provided to Afghans to study in Pakistan through scholarships, skill-enhancement and capacity-building programs.
An early return of Afghan refugees in Pakistan should be facilitated by both countries, and assisted by the United Nations, they said, suggesting a treaty on extradition of criminals and a commission to facilitate exchange of prisoners not involved heinous crimes.
The delegation also met High Peace Council Chairman Burhanuddin Rabbani and discussed areas where the two countries can cooperate in bringing regional peace. (Pajhwok)