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> Pakistan wants to see an Independent, Sovereign and Prosperous Afghanistan: Prime Minister Gilani
Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentarians Dialogue
December 21, 2011

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Islamabad: December 21; Pakistan wants to see an independent, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan, said Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani while welcoming the Afghan Parliamentarians who called on him upon the conclusion of the 6th round of Pak-Afghan Parliamentarians Dialogue in Islamabad, facilitated by PILDAT.


“The assassination of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani is a great loss to Pakistan and it is a set back to the peace and reconciliation process of Afghanistan,” said Prime Minister Gilani. “We support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of reconciliation, underscored the Prime Minister, as he appreciated the PILDAT initiative of building ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan through facilitating Parliamentarians interactions.


Parliamentarians of Afghanistan joined their Pakistan counterparts in Islamabad for a two-day dialogue, December 20-21, 2011, that focussed on Progress on Recommendations from earlier two Parliamentary Dialogues (March 29-31, 2011 and May 29-30, 2011 in Islamabad and Kabul respectively); Afghan Transit Trade, Trade and Travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Investment Opportunities by Investors of both countries and Prospects of Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations in post-NATO/US Forces withdrawal from Afghanistan.


The Afghan Parliamentary Delegation also called on Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan, Senator Farooq H. Naek, and interacted with a Senate delegation including Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, Leader of the House in Senate, PPPP, Senator Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Leader of the Opposition, JUI-F, Senator Col (Retd.) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, MQM, Senator Kalsoom Perveen, BNP-A, Senator Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan, JUI-F, Senator Rehana Yahya Baloch, PML, Senator Mohammad Ghufran Khan, PPP-S, Senator Prof. Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, JIP, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, ANP, Senator Abdur Rahim Khan Mandokhel, PKMAP, Senator Saeeda Iqbal, PPPP and Senator Sailm Saifullah Khan, PML.


The delegation was also hosted at a luncheon by the Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, MNA.


The two-day Dialogue of Afghan and Pakistan MPs concluded with a Joint Resolution which the co-chairs from two sides shared with the media at a Press Briefing. The text of the Joint Statement includes:

“The Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentarians’ Dialogue took place in Islamabad, Pakistan on December 20-21, 2011. The two-day dialogue focussed on Progress on Recommendations from earlier two Parliamentary Dialogues (March 29-31, 2011 and May 29-30, 2011 in Islamabad and Kabul respectively); Afghan Transit Trade, Trade and Travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Investment Opportunities by Investors of both countries and Prospects of Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations in post-NATO/US Forces withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Parliamentarians from both sides agreed to speed-up the process of getting their recommendations fully recognised by their respective governments and to ensure that all their recommendation emanating from interacting with each other will be discussed in the both houses of their respective Parliaments including Senate and National Assembly of Pakistan and Meshrano Jirga and Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan. The set of recommendations of the three dialogues, given at the end of this statement, will be carried forward for presentation in the Afghan and Pakistan Parliaments as the sole responsibility of participating MPs in these dialogues, under the guidance of co-chairs of the respective Parliamentary dialogues. Pakistan and Afghanistan MPs agreed to continue the process of interaction on each recommendation and their reflection in the policies of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Parliamentarians agreed that trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan needs to be promoted further for strengthening the bilateral relationship and well-built bridges of friendship of the two countries. Certain technical issues in implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement such as insurance guarantees should be resolved by mutual agreement of the two side governments. Parliamentarians from two countries also believed that APTTA should be extended beyond Afghanistan to Central Asian States. Trade between the two countries should also be promoted by providing attractive opportunities to the investors from both sides. Malpractices in trade should also be addressed in a way that rights of investors of the two countries are fully protected.

Parliamentarians from Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed that a mechanism for streamlining the economic relations between the two countries needs to be adopted through which Pakistan’s participation in Afghanistan’s reconstruction should be encouraged. They also agreed that infrastructure projects linking border areas of the two countries should be given special attention and rail and road connections between the two countries should be focussed upon for fostering economic development. Upgradation of Peshawar-Jalalabad Road was cited as a priority project in this context. They also agreed that the existing conducive regional environment should be utilised for economic engagement of the international community with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Following specific recommendations were agreed to by the Parliamentarians of Afghanistan and Pakistan during the Dialogue:

Recommendation of the Dialogues
  1. Institutionalize Parliamentary Dialogue
  2. Improve Coordination on Counter-Terrorism Operations
  3. Address apprehensions regarding Terrorists’ safe havens
  4. Greater Parliamentary Oversight on Defence
  5. Parliamentarians to adopt their own political approach (people-oriented) in enhancing relations between the two countries
  6. Narcotics and terrorist-financing: The need to install effective control on growth and supply of drugs fuelling terrorism in the region
  7. Enhancing Border management
  8. Intelligence-sharing and Cooperation
  9. Liberalising Visa Regimes
  10. Enhancing Communication Networks: Air travel, Road and Rail network (Kabul to Peshawer), & telephony
  11. Facilitating Media exchanges (electronic & print)
  12. Greater support and facilitation for Afghan Students
  13. Central banks of both Pakistan and Afghanistan should follow the Basel Committee III on supervision of Banks especially on Money Laundering and Terrorist financing
  14. Visa free regime between Parliamentarians of two countries
  15. Pakistani and Afghan investors and business persons should get reciprocal incentives in each country to strengthen business and trade
  16. Early return of Afghan refugees in Pakistan to Afghanistan with dignity and honour
  17. The two countries should sign a treaty of extradition of criminals on both sides
  18. Promote Cricket as a way of promoting better people to people contact
  19. Draft a treaty on water-sharing. Treaty should be ratified by both Parliaments
  20. While remaining part of tripartite cooperation in the area of security, Pakistan and Afghanistan should also develop bilateral cooperation between the Armed Forces and Security Agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan
  21. Have a Commission on Prisoners that could facilitate exchange of those prisoners who have not committed heinous crimes
  22. Youth and Cultural Exchanges should be facilitated
  23. Moving Resolutions in respective Parliaments based on these recommendations”


The 23 member Afghan Parliamentary delegation included Senator Besmellah Afghanmal, Abdul Latif Pedram, Senator Abdul Shakoor Shakoor, Senator Ahmad Bashir Samim, Senator Ahmad Mawen, Senator Bahram Samkani, Senator Baz Mohammad Zormati, Senator Malika Mayailzada, Senator Mohammad Amin Ahmadi, Senator Mohammad Asif Azime, Senator Namatullah Popal, Senator Sara Surkhabi, Mr. Abdul Samee Samim, Mr. Abdul Saboor Khedmat, Mr. Amir Mohammad Yar, Mr. Mohammad Nawab Mangal, Mr. Mohammad Nazir Ahmadzai, Mrs. Najia Aimaq, Mrs. Nazifa Zaki, Sayed Ishaq Gailani, Mr. Sharifullah Kamawal, Haji Sher Ali Ahmadzai and Ms. Wagma Spay.


Pakistani Parliamentarians who engaged in the two-day Dialogue with their Afghan counterparts included Senator Salim Saifullah Khan, (Khber Pakhtunkhwa, PML) co-Chair of the Dialogue from Pakistan, Senator Muhammad Jahangir Badar, (Punjab, PPPP); Senator Dr. Saeeda Iqbal, (Islamabad Capital Territory, PPPP); Senator S. M. Zafar, (Punjab, PML); Senator Maulana Mohammad Saleh Shah Qurashi, (FATA, Independent); Senator Prof. Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, JUI); Chaudhry Naseer Ahmed Bhutta, MNA, NA-127, Lahore-X, Punjab, PML-N; Ms. Fauzia Wahab, MNA, NA-312, Sindh-V, Sindh, PPPP; Mr. Hamayun Saifullah Khan, MNA, NA 27, Lakki Marwat, Khyberpakhtunkhwa, PML; Mr. Mohammad Kamran Khan, NA 40, Tribal Area V, FATA, Independent; Mr. Nadeem Afzal Gondal, MNA, NA-64, Sargodha-I, Punjab, PPPP, Mr. Noor Alam Khan, MNA, NA-3, Peshawar-III, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Mr. Riaz Khan Fatyana, MNA, NA-94, Toba Tek Singh-II, Punjab; Syed Akhonzada Chitan, MNA, NA-44 Tribal Area-IX, FATA, Independent.


The Afghan-Pakistan Parliamentary dialogue is a continuation of PILDAT’s commitment to strengthening Parliamentary ties and relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Earlier, five joint workshops of Pakistani and Afghani Parliamentarians have been facilitated by PILDAT since 2008. The broad objective behind the initiative has been to facilitate Parliaments of the two countries to develop a relationship based on greater interaction and dialogue with each other on bilateral and regional relations and issues of mutual interest.