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> Parliamentary Dialogue to continue to strengthen Pak-Afghan ties, announce Co-Chairs of Pak-Afghan Parliamentary Dialogue
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Pak-Afghan Dialogue
March 30, 2011

Joint Declaration English [PDF]
Joint Declaration Urdu [PDF]

Islamabad; March 30, Addressing a press conference upon the conclusion of the Parliamentarians Dialogue, co-chairs of the Pak-Afghan Parliamentary Dialogue Sayed Ishaq Gailani, Member of Afghan Wolesi Jirga and Senator Salim Saifullah Khan, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, said that Parliamentary dialogue between Pakistan and Afghanistan must continue in order to strengthen Pak-Afghan ties.


A Joint Statement [English, Urdu] was issued upon the conclusion of the dialogue which was shared with the media.


“No country is closer to our heart than Afghanistan,” said Senator Salim Saifullah, adding that the first-ever visit of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee was undertaken to Kabul earlier this month before the Senate and National Assembly of Pakistan welcomed the 20-member Afghan Parliamentary delegation to Pakistan. Senator Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali, Deputy Chairman Senate of Pakistan and Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, MNA, Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan welcomed and remained engaged in a dialogue with Afghan MPs alongside a multi-party Pakistan Parliamentary delegation, informed Senator Saifullah.


“Parliamentarians from two sides discussed terrorism, trade, narcotics and education in a candid interaction,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani while addressing the press conference. Terrorists have harmed both countries and a regional conference to counter terrorism must be held, he believed, to counter the scourge. Our Pakistani Parliamentary brothers and sisters agree that our interaction will pave the way for strengthening relations, he said.


The Co-chairs thanked PILDAT for facilitating the Parliamentary interaction adding that the next dialogue of the series will be held in Kabul in May this year.


Earlier, Afghan Parliamentarians called on Chairman Senate Senator Farooq H. Naik in the Parliament House. In welcoming the Afghan delegation, Senator Naik was joined by Senator Jan Muhammad Jamali, Deputy Chairman Senate, Senator Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, Leader of the House in the Senate, Senator Jahangir Bader, PPPP, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Leader of the PML-N Parliamentary party, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, ANP, Senator Salim Saifullah Khan, PML, Senator Kulsoom Parveen, PML, Senator Saleh Shah, Ind. and Senator Abdul Rahim Khan Mandokhel, PKMAP.


Chairman Senate said that two brotherly countries have unbreakable historical, cultural and religious ties. He said that peace in Afghanistan is important for peace in Pakistan and peace in the region. Terrorism is a common problem which needs to be addressed jointly, adding that a regional approach is required in this regard. Thanking on behalf of the Afghan delegates for the warm welcome received by delegation in Pakistan, Sayed Ishaq Gailani raised the issue of bottlenecks in Afghan transit trade and said MPs of two countries have a crucial role to play in resolving issues. Senator Nayyar Hussain Bukhari believed that relations have improved during current government tenure adding that President Zardari places huge importance on good relation of Pakistan with Afghanistan. Senator Ishaq Dar said that PML-N has always given great importance to Afghanistan and assured Afghan delegation that Afghan Student will be accommodated in Universities across Punjab. He said that terrorism is badly affecting both countries’ economies, and it is time to address this with a joint approach.


The Afghan delegation, while viewing proceedings of the House in the Senate, was warmly acknowledged and welcomed by Parliamentary leaders. Chairman Senate also announced the formation of a Pak-Afghan Parliamentary Friendship Group in Senate with Deputy Chairman Senate Senator Jan Muhammad Jamali as the Chairman of the Group.


In a meeting of the Afghan Parliamentary delegation with the President of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, the delegates raised the issues of held containers under Afghan Transit trade, cross-border terrorism and greater Parliamentary interaction between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The meeting started with the fateha for the departed soul of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Saheed. Sayed Ishaq Gailani, Member Wolesi Jirga and leader of Afghan Parliamentary delegation, congratulated Mr. Zardrai for successfully completion of 3 years of democratic government. He briefed the President about the proceedings of the Parliamentarians Dialogue held earlier in the day and major concerns discussed by both sides.

Mr. Zardari felicitated Afghan delegation for holding of successful elections and establishing a Parliament despite war and law and order situation in Afghanistan. The President pledged Pakistan’s support to Afghanistan in eradicating the roots of terrorism in the region. He also promised scholarships and better education opportunities for Afghan nationals in response to requests by Afghan delegates. He also assured Afghan Parliamentarians that quota of Afghan students in Pakistani educational institutions will be increased. Responding to the concerns of delegates about containers stopped at Karachi, Senator Rahman Malik, Federal Minister for Interior, promised that the issue will be resolved very soon as the Prime Minister of Pakistan has taken personal interest in this matter.

A delegation of 20 Afghan MPs, belonging to Meshrano Jirga (Senate of Afghanistan) and Wolesi Jirga (National Assembly of Afghanistan), led by Honourable Sayed Ishaq Gailani, Member of Afghan Wolesi Jirga, had arrived in Pakistan on March 28 upon PILDAT invitation to engage in dialogue with their Pakistani counterparts on issues that impact the relations between two brotherly Islamic countries. Afghan Parliamentary delegation from Meshrano Jirga included Senator Mawlawi Abdul Wali Raji, Senator Bahram Samkani, Senator Dar Khail Mangul, Senator Hedayetullah Rehaie, Senator Muhammad Arsalan Rahmani, Senator Molla Mohammad Faizi, Senator Rafiullah Haidari, Senator Sali Mohammad Pahlawan, Senator Shah Naz Ghowsi and Senator Sher Mohammad Akhunzada while delegates from the Afghan Wolesi Jirga includd Engineer Abdul Ghafar, Haji Abdul Khaliq Bala Karzai, Mr. Abdul Satar Khawasi, Mr. Ahmad Farhad Majeedi, Ms. Farkhunda Naderi, Mr. Gul Badshah Majeedi, Ms. Helay Ershad, Ms. Rangina Kargar and Sayed Jamal Fakory Beheshti.