Pakistan Urges all Afghan Insurgents to Pursue Peace: Ambassador

November 25, 2012

 

Sun, Nov 11 2012
By Michael Georgy and Hamid Shalizi


KABUL (Reuters) – Pakistan hopes to persuade Afghan insurgent groups, including the lethal Haqqani network, to pursue peace but worries resistance from political factions opposed to the Taliban could undermine reconciliation efforts, Islamabad's ambassador said.

Mohammad Sadiq, speaking in an interview, also suggested U.S. efforts would be better directed at engaging insurgent groups — rather than attempting to defeat them by launching military strikes against their leaders. .

Sadiq was speaking just ahead of an expected visit to Pakistan by an Afghan peace council due to give Islamabad a road map of how it wants its influential neighbor to help end the war with the Taliban, now in its 11th year. .

"Afghans are much more united in wanting to join the reconciliation process than they were two years ago," he said. .

"But still there are very important people who fought against the Taliban and are not still ready to talk and negotiate with the Taliban. And we are working with them." Sadiq was referring to former members of the Northern Alliance, which toppled the Taliban in 2001 with U.S. backing. Some now occupy government positions or are in the opposition. .

President Hamid Karzai set up a High Peace Council comprised of members of diverse Afghan ethnic and political groups to try to ease mistrust between the Taliban and its traditional enemies and forge a peace deal. .

The task has gained urgency as most NATO combat troops prepare to withdraw at the end of 2014 and hand over security to Afghan government forces. .

Lack of progress has fuelled fears of a civil war and some Afghans worry the Taliban will try and seize power again if no comprehensive political settlement is reached before then. .

AFGHANISTAN WANTS PAKISTAN TO DELIVER ON PROMISES.

Afghanistan's government has failed to secure direct talks with the Taliban and no significant progress is expected before 2014, a senior Afghan official closely involved with reconciliation efforts told Reuters on Friday. .

Afghan officials have often seen Pakistan as a reluctant partner in attempts to broker talks, saying Islamabad is long on promises and short on action. .

Kabul accuses Pakistan's spy agency of using groups like the Haqqani network as proxies to counter the influence of rival India in Afghanistan. Islamabad, which has a long history of ties to Afghan militant groups, denies the allegations. .

"The prime minister of Pakistan had appealed to all insurgent groups to engage in negotiations," said Sadiq. "We will encourage all insurgents. We will encourage the entire armed opposition of Afghanistan to participate in peace negotiations with the Afghan government." .

The Haqqani faction, allied with the Taliban and operating on northwest Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, is seen as the most dangerous Afghan militant group, blamed for high-profile attacks in Kabul and other cities. .

Afghanistan said in August it believed a top commander of the group, Badruddin Haqqani, had been killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan.

Pakistan has resisted U.S. pressure to pursue the Haqqanis, – seen as the most implacable U.S. foe in Afghanistan – arguing that negotiations stand a better chance of delivering stability. .

"I think normally with insurgents one thing is very clear – that deaths have not weakened them because they replace commanders very quickly. They're able to replace them in a day or so," said Sadiq, suggesting the Americans should have learned from the Russian experience in Afghanistan in the 1980s. .

"They have people. By killing their people you cannot weaken them. The Soviets killed 1 million, 2 million people. It didn't weaken the insurgency against them." .

Afghanistan is known to want access to Taliban leaders belonging to the so-called Quetta Shura, or council, named after the Pakistani city where they are believed to be based, an issue the peace council is likely to raise. .

An official with the council said it would also be pushing Islamabad to repatriate Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's former second in command, in detention in Pakistan. .

Afghan officials believe Baradar could serve as an effective conduit for negotiations with Taliban leaders if sent to Kabul. An Afghan official told Reuters that Pakistan had promised to hand over Baradar in September. .

Pakistan denies giving sanctuary to insurgents and says no Taliban leaders are in Quetta. .

Asked what Pakistan would be willing to do to push the struggling reconciliation process forward, Sadiq said: "Expectations should be reasonable about what we can do because Pakistan and Taliban are not one party. We don't control them, we don't give them weapons, we do not give money to them." .

Sadiq said Afghanistan should strive to make sure any government that runs the country should include all ethnic groups and parties to preclude any repeat of past turmoil. "A representative government will automatically help in reducing the insurgency, reducing the tension among ethnicities, it will go a long way in preventing a civil war." .


The story is also carried by the following:


CHICAGO TRIBUNE
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-rt-afghanistan-pakistan-interview-pixl3e8mb0rz-20121111,0,5429106.story.

Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/464083/pakistan-urges-all-afghan-insurgents-to-pursue-peace-ambassador/

DAWN
http://dawn.com/2012/11/11/pakistan-urges-all-afghan-insurgents-to-pursue-peace-ambassador/

THE NEWS
http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-18783-Afghan-delegation-arrives-today-for-talks

DAILY TIMES
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\11\12\story_12-11-2012_pg1_1

PAKISTAN OBSERVER
http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=181897

PAK TRIBUNE
http://paktribune.com/news/Pakistan-urges-all-Afghan-insurgents-to-go-for-peace-254850.php

PAKISTAN TODAY
http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/11/12/news/national/pakistan-urges-all-afghan-insurgents-to-pursue-peace/?printType=article

KHYBER NEWS TV
http://www.khybernews.tv/newsDetails.php?cat=14&key=MjI3MjM=

DAILY EXPRESS
http://www.express.com.pk/epaper/PoPupwindow.aspx?newsID=1101667369&Issue=NP_LHE&Date=20121112

SANA NEWS
http://www.sananews.net/english/pak-urges-all-afghan-insurgents-to-pursue-peace-ambassador/

The Star Online
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/11/11/worldupdates/2012-11-11T084347Z_1_BRE8AA044_RTROPTT_0_UK-AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN&sec=Worldupdates

THE NATION
http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/12-Nov-2012/pakistan-for-reconciling-all-warring-groups

DAILY JINNAH
http://www.dailyjinnah.com/islamabad/2012/November/12/?pg=8

GULF TIMES
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=543109&version=1&template_id=41&parent_id=23

FIRSTPOST.COM
http://www.firstpost.com/world/pakistan-urges-all-afghan-insurgents-to-pursue-peace-ambassador-522334.php


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  • November 15, 2012

Joint Press Statement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan and the High Peace Council of Afghanistan (12-15 November 2012)

A high level delegation of the High Peace Council led by H.E. Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani visited Islamabad, on November 12-15, 2012, upon the invitation of H.E. Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The delegation called upon H.E. President Asif Ali Zardari and H.E. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and met with H.E. Foreign Minister and General Ashfaq Kayani the Chief of Army Staff. The delegation also held meetings with Pakistan's religious and political leaders. Both sides had an extensive exchange of views including briefing by the Pakistan authorities on the investigation of the assassination of Shaheed Ustad Burhanuddin Rabbani. Both sides agreed on the following joint statement:


2. The HPC delegation briefed the Pakistan side on the progress made in the peace and reconciliation process and underlined the importance of Pakistan's role in this regard. Pakistan supports Afghanistan's vision and roadmap for achieving durable and lasting peace in Afghanistan.


3. The two sides appealed to the Taliban and other armed opposition groups to participate in the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process to end violence.


4. In support of peace and reconciliation process and in response to the requests of the Afghan government/HPC, a number of Taliban detainees are being released.


5. All concerned countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and USA will facilitate safe passage to potential negotiators to advance the reconciliation process.


6. Pakistan and Afghanistan will work closely with other international partners to remove the names from the UN sanctions list of the potential negotiators amongst Taliban and other groups to enable them to participate in peace talks.


7. The two sides agreed to jointly work for holding an Ulema Conference which will include religious scholars from Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Islamic countries. The conference could either be held in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan or any other Islamic country. The Ulema Conference would address the issue of rising militancy and suicide attacks in the name of religion and the defamation of our glorious and peaceful religion Islam due to its unjustified linkage with terrorism.


8. Pakistan and the High Peace Council called on the Taliban and other armed groups to sever all links with Al-Qaida, and other international terror networks.


9. The two sides recognized that close and consistent cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan is key to building trust and confidence between the two countries and strengthening joint bilateral efforts in promoting peace and stability as well as overcoming the ongoing trends of violence and extremism. They called for long term and consistent mutual cooperation based on mutual interest and respect.


10. The two sides stressed that talking to and maligning each other through media leaves little space for serious dialogue. Therefore, all government officials and spokespersons should refrain from making hostile statements and avoid blame game.


11. The High Peace Council and Pakistani authorities discussed the issue of cross border incursions and shelling. It was decided to discuss ways and means to create conducive conditions and initiating bilateral mechanisms that would completely end the cross-border shelling. The contacts between Pakistan Army and Afghan National Army in this regard were lauded and encouraged.


12. To initiate an effective mechanism in order to facilitate consistent and practical steps, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan and the High Peace Council of Afghanistan agreed to have more frequent contacts to enhance peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.



Islamabad,

14 November 2012

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  • October 12, 2012

Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber Of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI) visited Pakistan Embassy Kabul

His Excellency Mohammad Sadiq, Ambassador of Pakistan in Kabul hosted a dinner in the honour of 31-member Pakistani trade delegation of Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI) on Monday. The delegation was led by PAJCCI President Mohammad Zubair Motiwala. The delegation is visiting Afghanistan from 7-11 October in response to Afghan delegation's visit to Pakistan in the month of July 2012.

The delegation held meetings with officials of Ministry of Commerce, Afghanistan Investment Agency (AISA), Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce, and other important organisations of repute. It was decided the Chamber will serve as a body to enhance trade relations.


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  • October 1, 2012

Tender Notice

The Embassy of Pakistan invites quotations from reputed registered firms of Afghanistan for construction of a large room measuring 12 x 8 meter inside the Embassy Compound.

The details of the Notice and specification of the work are attached. Click here.


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  • July 22, 2012

Joint Statement on the occasion of the Pakistan-Afghanistan-United Kingdom Special Trilateral Meeting in Kabul

Pakistan-UK-Afghanistan Joint statement


His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, hosted a special trilateral meeting of Afghanistan, Pakistan and United Kingdom today, and welcomed to the Presidential Palace His Excellency Raja Pervez Ashraf, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and The Right Honourable David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

President Karzai and Prime Minister Cameron congratulated Prime Minister Ashraf on being elected as Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and looked forward to working closely with him and his Government.

The three leaders discussed the current situation in the region and reaffirmed their common vision to advance regional peace and stability. Recognizing that terrorism poses the gravest threat to regional and international security, the leaders reiterated their strong commitment to working together to eliminate this scourge, and agreed that success will depend on the active support of the region and the international community. They also emphasized the importance of peace in Afghanistan for the peace and security of Pakistan. Prime Minister Cameron highlighted the international community's continued commitment for a peaceful, stable and democratic Afghanistan in a stable and prosperous region.

The three leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress of the Transition process in Afghanistan, and reiterated that an independent, peaceful, self-reliant and democratic Afghanistan was necessary for to the stability and prosperity of the wider region. They also took note of the international community's long-term commitments to Afghan security and economic development made at the recent Chicago and Tokyo conferences. Afghanistan thanked the United Kingdom and Pakistan for their support to these goals. The leaders agreed that regional prosperity requires economic development through trade, investment and greater economic integration. . In this regard, the leaders noted the success of the 14 June 2012 Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Kabul, aimed at strengthening confidence and practical cooperation in the region, including through the implementation of the Istanbul Process confidence building measures.

President Karzai reiterated the continued importance and urgency of a political solution to end the violence in Afghanistan, and the Afghan people's determination to realize their aspirations for lasting peace through an inclusive and dignified process, involving the Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami and other armed opposition groups. Prime Ministers Ashraf and Cameron reaffirmed their support for such a process that is led and owned by Afghans, facilitated by Pakistan and other regional countries, and supported by the UK and the wider international community. The two leaders recognized the leadership that President Karzai has brought to the peace process and welcomed the reinvigorated efforts of the Afghan High Peace Council under Chairman Rabbani.

Prime Ministers Ashraf and Cameron thanked President Karzai for hosting this special trilateral meeting of the three countries.

 

Kabul, Afghanistan
19 July 2012


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  • July 22, 2012

Prime Minister of Pakistan Visits Kabul : Joint Statement

Joint Statement between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on the Occasion of the Visit to Kabul by His Excellency Raja Pervez Ashraf, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

 

At the invitation of His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, His Excellency Raja Pervez Ashraf, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, visited Kabul on 19 July 2012.

President Karzai congratulated Prime Minister Ashraf on being elected as the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and assured him of the Government of Afghanistan's continued cooperation in a broad range of areas between the two countries.

The two leaders held in-depth discussions on various issues pertaining to bilateral cooperation, and re-affirmed the historical, cultural and religious bonds of friendship that exist between the two countries. Both leaders agreed that maintaining a strong, robust and independent bilateral relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan was their mutual priority as it would contribute to the stability and prosperity of the region.

Both sides stressed on the need to work together in the various fields of security, development, transit, trade, economic and investment linkages, mining, infrastructure and energy connectivity and people to people contacts. They recommitted to their shared vision to advance regional peace and stability and, in this context, reaffirmed their strong commitment to eliminating the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

The two leaders discussed the Afghan peace process in great depth, renewing the commitment by the two countries to work together towards an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process involving the Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami and other armed opposition groups.

The two leaders shared the view that the expressed desire and determination of the Afghan people to put an end to violence and bring lasting peace to their country, as affirmed in the Peace Jirga of July 2010 and the Traditional Loya Jirga of November 2011, must be complemented by result-oriented regional and international cooperation. In this context, both sides expressed the hope that Pakistan's support to the Afghan peace process would contribute to durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Recalling the successful visit of President Karzai to Islamabad in February 2011, which remains a milestone in the history of bilateral relations, the Afghan side welcomed and expressed appreciation for the steps being taken by Pakistan in support of the Afghan peace process, including the public call on the Afghan armed opposition groups to participate in the reconciliation process to achieve long-term peace, stability and progress in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani side reaffirmed its support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned inclusive peace process, and underlined its determination to redouble efforts in facilitating direct intra-Afghan contacts and negotiations. The two leaders committed to implement additional concrete steps to advance Afghan peace and reconciliation. Both sides agreed to facilitate a conducive environment for the peace and reconciliation process to move forward.

The two leaders also recognized the importance of pursuing multiple channels of communication and contact with the Afghan Taliban and other armed opposition groups. In this context, they emphasized international support for the Afghan peace process and, in particular, welcomed the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Turkey and other countries.

To ensure the timely follow up of the efforts in support of the Afghan peace process, the two sides highlighted the role of Afghanistan's High Peace Council and looked forward to a successful visit to Islamabad by the Chairman of the High Peace Council. Both sides also agreed to resume regular meetings of the two-tier Afghanistan-Pakistan Peace Commission.

With a view to advancing regional cooperation in all its dimensions, the two leaders recognized the importance of regional organisations and fora, including the various trilateral and quadrilateral processes involving Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. In particular, the two sides welcomed the progress on regional confidence-building through the Istanbul Process and emphasized that enhanced cooperation between Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbors on issues such as narcotics, regional trade and connectivity will create an environment for long-term stability and prosperity. The two leaders looked forward to the upcoming meeting of the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Russia-Tajikistan Quadrilateral Summit in Islamabad later this year.

Highlighting the many complementarities of the two countries in promoting economic development and integration between them and with the wider region, the two sides reaffirmed to broaden their cooperation in the economic sphere, including the full implementation of all bilateral agreements, such as the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) and the creation of Special Economic and Industrial Zones. The two sides agreed to extend APTTA as a first step to Tajikistan as part of the overall effort to promote regional economic cooperation. Both sides also emphasized the importance of early finalization of the process for establishment of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, the speedy implementation of the CASA-1000 power transmission line, and enhancing connectivity and upgrading rail and road infrastructure between the two countries.

The Afghan side expressed its gratitude to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for the past three decades. Both sides expressed support for the creation of conditions conducive to the voluntary and safe return of refugees in a dignified and orderly manner, as well as continued international support to Pakistan as a host nation.

The Afghan side expressed gratitude for Pakistan's participation at the Chicago and Tokyo conferences on Afghanistan, and for its pledges of long-term support to Afghan security and development efforts.

Prime Minister Ashraf thanked President Karzai for the warm hospitality extended to him and the Pakistani delegation during their visit to Kabul.


Kabul Afghanistan
19 July 2012


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  • June 30, 2012

600 Afghan Students to get Higher Education Scholarships this year, Written Tests Held at Pakistan's Embassy Kabul

The Government of Pakistan has offered 600 scholarships for the current academic year (2012-2013) for the Afghan students to study in different disciplines in the prominent educational institutions, professional colleges and universities of Pakistan. Pakistan has been offering fully-funded scholarships since 2009 under "the Prime Minister of Pakistan's 2000 Scholarships Scheme for Afghan Students"..

The Embassy of Pakistan held a written test today and the successful candidates would be able to benefit from the scheme to study in the educational institutions of Pakistan. All the expenses of the students including tuition fee, boarding and lodging, travelling to and from Afghanistan will be born by the Government of Pakistan. About 1500 Afghan student are alredy benefiting from this scheme. It may be mentioned that over thirty thousand afghan nationals have graduated from Pakistan Universities and Professional colleges in the last three decades who now play active role in the reconstruction and socio-economic development of their country. .

Keeping in view the vital educational requirements of Afghanistan, the Government of Pakistan offers the scholarships to Afghan students in the fields of Medicine, Engineering, Information Technology, Business Administration, Agriculture, Economics, Natural Sciences and Teaching. .

Pakistan attaches utmost significance to the development of education in Afghanistan and would further increase the number of scholarships in the years to come. The present scheme of scholarships program, indeed, would go a long way in promoting education in Afghanistan as well as people-to-people contacts between the two neighboring countries.


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  • June 27, 2012

Pakistan says Afghan peace requires clarity from US, Taliban

By Missy Ryan and Hamid Shalizi.


KABUL, June 25 (Reuters) – A hoped-for peace deal ending the war in Afghanistan will likely remain out of reach unless both the United States and the Taliban put more clear, consistent offers on the table, a senior diplomat from Afghanistan's influential neighbour Pakistan said.

"We don't think all these issues can be solved by fighting. There must be a political process, but the parties need to be serious about it," Mohammad Sadiq, Islamabad's ambassador in Kabul, told Reuters in an interview.

"There is a lack of clarity on both sides," Sadiq said, referring to the U.S. and Taliban negotiating positions.

The role of Pakistan, with deep historic ties to the Taliban, will be pivotal in U.S. efforts to broker a peace deal between the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the militant group, whose leaders are believed to based in Pakistan.

After more than 10 years of costly NATO efforts failed to defeat the Taliban on the battlefield, Western nations have embraced the goal of a negotiated end to the conflict even as they prepare to withdraw most combat troops by the end of 2014.

But the Obama administration's hopes for quickly setting up negotiations between the Karzai government and the Taliban were dealt a blow in March when the Taliban's reclusive leadership suspended participation in preliminary talks.

U.S. diplomats had hoped their initial meetings with Taliban representatives would set in motion the transfer of former Taliban officials held in Guantanamo Bay military prison to Qatar, the release of a U.S. soldier held by the Taliban, and eventually authentic peace talks among the Afghan parties.

A U.S.-educated diplomat who is a key Pakistani official on peace efforts, Sadiq said that despite deep scepticism among U.S. and Afghan officials – many of whom would accuse Pakistan itself of inconsistency – Pakistan supported the goal of a such a peace deal for Afghanistan.

Pakistan backed the Taliban's hardline government in Afghanistan, which was toppled after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and is believed to prefer ethnic Pashtun dominance in Afghanistan over a northern-controlled government it fears could bolster the position of its arch-enemy, India.

Pakistan has promised to help bring all Afghan parties to the negotiating table.


AMBIGUITY, TURMOIL

Sadiq said the Taliban – whose public statements are famously opaque – must clarify whether their leaders are interested in substantive peace talks, or simply want freedom for former officials in U.S. custody.

That ambiguity, he said, has deepened turmoil within the group, already under pressure after years of battles against foreign troops and NATO strikes against senior members.

The U.S. position, he said, has meanwhile been hobbled by bureaucratic infighting and inconsistent offers to the Taliban regarding the proposed detainee transfer – which have fuelled militant suspicion about U.S. intentions and made Taliban leaders more reluctant to press ahead with talks.

"The Taliban suspicion is that this aims just to split the insurgents," he said. The U.S. State Department, which leads U.S. efforts to broker a peace deal, denied any inconsistencies, while the Taliban could not be reached for comment.

The U.S. administration says it remains hopeful of restarting talks, but even confidence-building moves are fraught with controversy and risk in the months before elections that Obama hopes will give him a second term.

Pakistan had provided support to the peace process, Sadiq said, allowing certain senior Taliban officials to travel from Pakistan to Qatar, where a political address was tentatively established as part of the now-halted U.S. peace plan.

Yet many within the U.S. and Afghan governments remain deeply suspicious about Pakistan's motives.

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan were strained for months after last year's assassination of Afghan peace envoy and former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, which Afghan officials blamed on Pakistan. Pakistan denied any responsibility.

Despite Pakistani promises, Afghan officials also complain privately that Pakistan is not cooperating with requests from Karzai for senior members of his government to have access to Taliban intermediaries in Pakistan.

NATO has long complained that Pakistan has failed to prevent militants from crossly a long, poorly guarded border into Afghanistan. The U.S. commander in Afghanistan repeated that assertion last week after at least 20 people were killed in a Taliban siege of a Kabul hotel.


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  • June 18, 2012

Afghan Journalists Call on Ambassador

Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mohammad Sadiq, said that Pakistan was according top priority to the development of education in Afghanistan as it could play significant role in promotion of harmony and peace in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan had offered significant educational opportunities to Afghan students to study in its universities and professional colleges. Pakistan would further increase the number of scholarships for Afghan students. He expressed these views during a meeting with a delegation of young Afghan journalists who had come from different provinces/regions of Afghanistan.

While talking to the journalists, the Ambassador said Pakistan was committed to promoting long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan as a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan was not only in the interest of Pakistan but of the entire region.

The journalists held a long interactive session with the Ambassador and put many questions to him. He gave a comprehensive briefing to them about the Pak-Afghan ties in their historical perspective and highlighted the steps taken by Pakistan for the socio-economic uplift of Afghanistan particularly its contribution towards the promotion of education. He informed them that currently 7,000 Afghan students were studying in the universities and professional colleges of Pakistan. Over 30,000 Afghans have completed their graduation/post-graduation from Pakistan's institutions and now playing active role in reconstruction of their country. He further stated that half a million Afghan refugee children are attending schools in Pakistan.

The Ambassador said Pakistan had always stood by Afghanistan in difficult times and would continue to support its Afghan brothers. He told the journalists that media could play a vital role in shaping and influencing public opinion.

The Ambassador underscored the importance of frequent exchanges between the media personnel of the two countries to promote trust and greater underestanding between the two nations.

 

Kabul Afghanistan
June 17, 2012


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  • June 17, 2012

Special Scholarship for Karte Parwan Students

The Embassy of Pakistan is awarding scholarships to Afghan student to study in Pakistani universities and professional colleges. The Embassy has reserved 15 seats for residents of Karte Parwan. Students interested to avail this scholarship are advised to submit to the Embassy the following documents before 25th June 2012:


  • Filled application form [Forms are available on http://www.pakembassykabul.com
  • 12th grade Pass Certificate
  • ID card/Tazkirah copy
  • 2 passport size photos

The written test of eligible candidates will be held on 30th June 2012.


Click here to download Proforma for Scholarship.


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  • June 17, 2012

Statement by Her Excellency Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Minister of Pakistan at Kabul Conference on 14 June 2012

Statement by the Foreign Minister at the
Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference
(Kabul, 14 June 2012)

Honourable Co-Chairs,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is great to be back in Kabul today, a city that is, for Pakistan, the most important capital in the world. It is immensely heartening to see so many other friendly countries gathered here in pursuit of the same thing that Pakistan seeks here and in the region—peace, stability and prosperity. The Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference is the right way to follow up the Istanbul Process that was launched in November last year.

To begin with, let me say thank you and congratulations to my brothers – Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davatoglu – for co-chairing this important meeting.

The Heart of Asia concept is rooted in the words and philosophy of one of our nation's founding fathers, the Muslim poet-philosopher, Allama Muhammad Iqbal. For this reason, both the concept and this meeting are close to our hearts. In early twentieth century, Allama Mohammad Iqbal, rightly characterized Afghanistan as being at the heart of Asia, saying that a stable Afghanistan was really the essential key to stability across all of Asia. Iqbal's prescient ideas inspire not only Pakistan, but many across the world. We have much to accomplish to live up to and fulfill his vision.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is clear to us in Pakistan, that there has been some important progress toward ensuring sustained stability in Afghanistan. This stability is so important to Pakistan, that we are now, after President Asif Ali Zardari's announcement in at the NATO Summit in Chicago, contributing financially to the Afghan National Security Forces. As we plan for the future, it is vital that we support Afghanistan's capacity to make a full transition toward taking responsibility over its affairs by 2014. While there are formidable challenges, we must not be consumed by negativity.

Pakistan has consistently expressed its conviction that the goal of long term stability in Afghanistan requires a holistic and all-inclusive approach to problem solving. Durable peace will be a product of intra-Afghan consensus and Afghan ownership, only to be supplemented with the support of its neighbours, the region and the wider international community.

The Heart of Asia initiative reflects a wider acceptance of Pakistan's long-standing approach to the challenges we face, collectively. We are therefore committed to supporting and participating in it to the fullest extent possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to make clear why Pakistan is here. It is a rather simple and linear concept, but competing narratives and international politics sometimes can obfuscate the most obvious things.

Pakistan wants a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. Pakistan wants an autonomous, sovereign and strong Afghanistan.

Why?

Because such an Afghanistan is vital for Pakistani peace, security, and prosperity.

At the bilateral level, our engagement with Afghanistan is focused on deepening cooperation in diverse areas. These include security, peace and reconciliation, trade, transit, education, health, energy and infrastructure development in a way as to effectively contribute towards the goal of long term stability in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is committed to provide its fullest cooperation to Afghanistan to help it steer through transition period, and beyond. We have already announced our intent to provide support to Afghan security forces and support to an Afghan-owned and Afghan led political process for a durable intra-Afghan political settlement. There is a lot more where this is coming from. As long as we are convinced that Afghanistan wants our support, we will provide as much of it, as is possible. This is not a matter of generosity, though Pakistanis have over the eyars hosted millions of their Afghan brothers and sisters, and take great pride in our hospitality. No. This is a matter of Pakistan's core national interest. We cannot grow, progress or live peacefully if our neighbours, if our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan are not growing, progressing or living peacefully.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pakistan believes that the process we began collectively in Istanbul is a worthwhile endeavour that must be supported by all of Afghanistan's neighbours. An ambitious regional and result-oriented process is a necessary complement to ongoing bilateral engagement and cooperation.

We are delighted at the commendable progress made since we met in Istanbul on November 2nd 2011 and adopted the Heart of Asia initiative. The Istanbul Process envisaged regular political consultations and Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to deepen tangible cooperation in various fields. It is notable that seven CBMs have already been agreed for the first phase.

We do not see these CBMs as merely an academic exercise. Instead, we feel that they represent an opportunity for concrete and meaningful cooperation. The over-arching objective remains the eventual betterment of the quality of life for my brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, and across the region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pakistan is very pleased to be leading the Disaster Management CBM jointly with our friends from Kazakhstan. We believe this area provides room for close cooperation in view of the severe natural disasters faced by our countries in the recent past.

The remaining six CBMs are equally important and we will also be participating in those.

There exist many prospective areas of cooperation with Afghanistan and other regional partners. We look forward to the inclusion of new CBMs through a gradual and consensus-based process, including on the subject of refugees.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The role of supporting countries in the Istanbul process is vital. The technical and financial boost they enable is crucial. Ultimately however, the durability of the process and the achievement of outcomes we can all be proud of rests upon the leadership of the Heart of Asia countries themselves, in the initiatives and projects under the process.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am optimistic that the Heart of Asia countries through their sincere and committed participation in the Istanbul process would be able to make progress towards achieving two crucial and mutually supporting objectives – a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and a secure and prosperous region as a whole.

For Pakistan's part, I assure you of our full commitment to these objectives. May Allah bless our Afghan brothers and sisters. Afghanistan aur Pakistan dosti Zindabad. Afghanistan Zindabad. Pakistan Zindabad.


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  • May 13, 2012

Higher Education Minister distributes certificates among students of Pakistan Embassy Vocational Training Institute

The Higher Education Minister Obaidullah Obaid was the Chief Guest at the Certificate Distribution Ceremony of Pakistan Embassy Vocational Training Institute at the Embassy compound in Karte Parwan. He distributed certificates among the Afghan students who have completed English and computer courses from the Institute.

Muhammad Sadiq, Pakistan's Ambassador in Kabul welcoming the chief guest and the graduating students at the ceremony said that education and capacity building of Afghans were amongst Pakistan's top priorities in Afghanistan. He stated that during past thirty years 30,000 Afghans had graduated from Pakistan while some 7,000 students were presently studying in Pakistani universities and colleges. He said that at least 500,000 Afghan refugee children were also studying in schools in Pakistan.

Ambassador Sadiq told the guests that Embassy was running this Institute without any tution fees so that Afghans improve their skills in English language and computers to help them in their education and professional lives. He emphasized that education will also enhance prospects of peace and stability.

Higher Education Minister Obaidullah Obaid in his speech thanked Pakistan Embassy for providing this opportunity to Afghan students to learn English and computers. He also appreciated Government of Pakistan for provision of 2,000 scholarships as well as allowing large number of Afghan students in Pakistani institutions.

The students receiving the certificates appreciated the Institute's contribution in building the skills of Afghans in English and computers, the two subjects of vital importance in today's globalized world. A total of 380 students received the certificates while another 300 are presently under training in the Institute.

Kabul,
13 May 2012


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  • April 15, 2012

Second Meeting of Pakistani and Afghan Women Parliamentarians, Kabul, Afghanistan – April 14-16, 2012

As a follow-up of the first round of dialogue between Pakistani and Afghan Women Parliamentarians; Women's Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) in partnership with the East West Institute (EWI) has organized a delegation of Women Parliamentarians of Pakistan, to Kabul from April14-16, 2012. The Hon. Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, nominated a delegation of five members; Ms. Shehnaz Wazir Ali (PPP); Dr. Donya Aziz (PML-Q); Ms. Tahira Aurangzeb (PML-N), Ms. Fouzia Ejaz Khan (MQM) and Ms. Asiya Nasir (JUI-F) to represent the Women's Parliamentary Caucus. The aim of this delegation is to gauge the efforts and initiative taken by the Hon. Speaker for networking with the Afghans on bilateral issues related to role of women in peace and security, sharing of parliamentary practices; assisting Afghans through Pakistan Institute of Inter-parliamentary services and by providing a mechanism for establishing their own Women's Caucus. It has also provided an opportunity in exploring avenues for cooperation and collectively working on women's agenda.

During the first day of the visit, parliamentarians interacted in discussion with Mr. Masoom Stanikzai, Advisor to the President on internal security & COE High Peace Council and women representatives from the HPC. The Honorable Advisor discussed the role of HPC while highlighting the economic, social and political aspects of strategies being adopted for reviving the internal and regional peace and reconciliation process. He stressed upon the need for women parliamentarians to be included in the bilateral dialogue between both the countries and how they can play a role in promoting a culture of peace through educating the people of the region, especially its youth.

In a call on with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, His Excellency Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, members of the WPC shared the goodwill and commitment from the Hon. Speaker and Prime Minister of Pakistan, to support a peace and reconciliation process led by the Afghans for the Afghans while insuring stability of the political process; to support the ongoing bilateral dialogue between both the countries; and work towards common interests for a stable and peaceful region. The Minister applauded the efforts of the Hon. Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza, on creating an effective forum such as WPC and its achievements in terms of legislation, advocacy and networking, for the women of Pakistan. He stressed the need to resolve the crisis of terrorism and insurgency where women and children of both the countries have suffered the most. While mentioning the initiatives being taken by Afghan government, Mr. Rassoul mentioned that without the support of Pakistan our goals in the region cannot be achieved. It was agreed that by Improving the opportunities and standards of education in both the countries, especially for women, will play an important role in changing the fundamental mindset of the people and in curbing the violation of human and women's rights. The delegation also offered its support in assisting the Afghan Parliamentarians by facilitating interactive programs and training opportunities at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services, as a step towards promoting greater political interaction.


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  • April 5, 2012

Speech by H.E. Mohammad Sadiq, Ambassador of Pakistan, On Pakistan Day

Excellency Dr. Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, Minister for Information and Culture,

Members of the Cabinet,

Honourable Leaders of the Afghan Jihad,

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to welcome all of you at the Pakistan Day celebrations. Today's celebrations are unique for us – we are celebrating our National Day at Karte Parwan complex for the first time.

We celebrate our National Day on 23rd March every year to commemorate the Pakistan Resolution adopted in Lahore in 1940 demanding a Muslim state in the South Asian Sub-Continent.

Celebrating Pakistan Day in Afghanistan in the midst of our Afghan brothers and sisters, from all ethnic origins and walks of life, gives us a special feeling. Pakistan and Afghanistan share common history, religion, geography, culture, traditions and values. Our destinies are also inextricably linked.

Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship is not just between two states. It is a truly people to people partnership.

Deep-rooted interaction between the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan presents a model of integration, unprecedented in the region. For example:


  • 56,000 Afghans cross international border into Pakistan every day for business, jobs, family visits, education and medical treatment.
  • Pakistan is hosting more than 3 million Afghan refugees for last three decades. At the peak of refugee crisis their numbers were well over 5.5 million. 82 percent of the refugee families in Pakistan have regular incomes.
  • More than 30,000 Afghans had graduated from Pakistani universities and professional colleges in last 3 decades. The alumnae of Pakistani universities are the largest group of nation builders in Afghanistan. They are also a bridge connecting our two countries.
  • Some 7,000 Afghan students are enrolled in Pakistani universities at present. Another half a million refugee children attend schools in Pakistan.
  • Pakistan has allocated 2,000 fully funded scholarships for Afghan students. We are planning to further extend this scholarship programme.
  • To express solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan is contributing to the development and reconstruction of Afghanistan. Our focus is on building infrastructure projects, hospitals and educational institutions.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pakistan supports an orderly transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces. Strengthening of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and their capacity building are vital to achieve this goal.

We also support an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process. In our view, an intra-Afghan political settlement through an all inclusive process is essential for long-term stability in Afghanistan.

Thank you very much Ladies and Gentlemen for celebrating our National Day with us. I am grateful to our Chief Guest HE Dr. Sayed Makhdoom Raheen for his kind presence and request him for his remarks.


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  • April 5, 2012

Press Release: Pakistan National Day Lunch Reception: 3rd April 2012

Pakistan Embassy Kabul hosted a reception to celebrate Pakistan National Day. Cabinet ministers, Afghan political leaders including heads of political parties, military leadership, prominent businessmen, senior government officials, diplomats and representatives of international organizations in Kabul attended the Reception.

Speaking at the occasion,Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq said that Pakistan and Afghanistan shared common hisotry, religion, geography, culture, tradition and values. He said the destinies of the two countries were also inter-linked.

Amassador Sadiq emphasised that Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship was not just between two states, but it was a truly people to people partnership.

Pakistan Ambassador underlined that Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship signified a model of regional integration. He said this was evident from large scale movement of Afghans to Pakistan for socio-economic reasons; presence of over 3 milion Afghan refugees still in Pakistan, more than 30,000 Afghans graduating from Pakistan in past three decades and 7,000 Afghans studying in Pakistani universities.

He said Pakistan supported an orderly transition of security responsibilities to Afghan security forces as well as an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation for an intra-Afghan political settlement.

Syed Makhdoom Rahin, Minister of Information and Culture, who was the chief guest at the occasion congratulated Pakistan on its National Day. He highlighted the deep-rooted interaction and bonds of brotherhood existing between the two countries. Makhdoom Rahin underlined the need for close cooperation and collaboration between the two countries for pursuing peace, security and development for a better future of the people of two countries.

This is the first time that Pakistan Embassy hosted its National Day Reception at Pakistan complex in Karte Parwan. It may be recalled that Embassy shifted back to this building a few months ago, in November 2011.

Kabul
3 April 2012


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  • March 23, 2012

Pakistan Day Ceremony Celebrated

The 72nd Pakistan Day was celebrated at the Embassy of Pakistan, Karte Parwan Kabul on 23 March 2012. The flag hoisting ceremony was performed by Charge de Affaires, Mr. Mansoor Ahmad Khan.

On the occasion, messages of the President of Pakistan and Prime Minister of Pakistan were read out. The Pakistani community in Kabul attended the ceremony in a large number.


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  • March 10, 2012

Lists of Students Selected for Scholarship *** Tenth Batch Announced

The Government of Pakistan is providing 2000 scholarships for Afghan students in Pakistani universities and colleges. During the academic year 2011-12, following students have been selected in different universities. These selected are advised to immediately report to the Embassy of Pakistan, Kart-e-Parwan, Kabul:

List of Tenth Batch of Afghan Students Selected for Scholarship

The following 13 students have been selected for admission in Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering & Management Sciences, Quetta. Click below:

List of 10th Batch

List of Ninth Batch of Afghan Students Selected for Scholarship

The following 10 students have been selected for test/interview in the National University of Modern Languages (NUML), H-9, Islamabad. Click below:

List of 9th Batch

List of Eighth Batch of Afghan Students Selected for Scholarship

The following 10 students in addition to 25 students of Seventh Batch have been granted admission in MBBS IN ISRA UNIVERSITY ISLAMABAD CAMPUS, AL-NAFEES MEDICAL COLLEGE, LEHTRAR ROAD, FARASH, ISLAMABAD. Click below:

List of 8th batch

List of Seventh Batch of Afghan Students Selected for Scholarship

The following 25 students have been granted admission in MBBS IN ISRA UNIVERSITY ISLAMABAD CAMPUS, AL-NAFEES MEDICAL COLLEGE, LEHTRAR ROAD, FARASH, ISLAMABAD. Click below:

list of 7th Batch

List of Sixth Batch of Afghan Students Selected for Scholarship

The following 15 students have been granted admission in Baluchistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences Quetta (BUITEMS). Click below:

List of 6th Batch

List of Fifth Batch of Afghan Students Selected for Scholarship

Following are the 41 names of students who have been selected on scholarship basis to study in Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan. click below:

List of 5th Batch

List of Fourth Batch of Afghan Students Selected for Scholarship

Following are the 18+68 names of students who have been selected on scholarship basis to study in University of Engineering & Technology, Peshawar and National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad. click below:

List of 4th Batch

List of Third Batch of Afghan Students Selected for Scholarship

Following are the 20 + 1 names of students who have been selected on scholarship basis to study in Engineering University Taxila and Riphah Institute of Media Studies in Rawalpindi. click below:

List of 3rd Batch

List of Second Batch of Afghan Student Selected for Scholarship

The list of second batch of 140 students selected for fully funded scholarship programme to study in Pakistan is given below.

List of 2nd Batch

List of First Batch of 60 Afghan Students Selected for Scholarship

The names of first batch of 60 students for the academic year 2011-12 are given below:

List of First Batch of 60 Students


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  • February 15, 2012

Tender Notice

Bids are invited from reputed firms for provision of 100 computers and accessories as per following specifications.

Desktop – Intel Core I-7 and I-5 with full components, accessories and software alongwith HP Laserjet Printer 1300 or a compatible model (Black & White) and UPS.

The bids may reach the Embassy of Pakistan, Karte Parwan Kabul within 20 days of publishing of the tender notice.

The Embassy reserve the right to reject or accept any tenders without assigning any reason.

(Head of Chancery),

Embassy of Pakistan, Kabul

15th February 2012

Phone No. 20-2202745/46


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  • February 2, 2012

Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar Visits Kabul

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar paid a day long visit to Kabul on 1st February 2012 at the invitation of the Afghan Foreign Minister, Dr. Zalmai Rassoul. During the visit Foreign Minister Khar called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and held bilateral talks with her Afghan counterpart Dr. Rassoul. She was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and other senior officials of the Ministry.

The two sides held in-depth consultations to work out a programme of enhanced engagement for promoting bilateral cooperation in diverse fields. The Pakistan side re-affirmed its full support to the Afghan nation to determine its own future. After the talks a Joint Communiqué between Afghanistan and Pakistan for strengthening Bilateral Cooperation was issued. The two Foreign Ministers also addressed a joint press conference.

During her stay at Kabul, a number of Afghan leaders called on Foreign Minister Khar. These included Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq (Hazara leader and Head of Hizb-e-Wahdat), Mr. Ahmad Wali Masood (Tajik leader and brother of late Ahmad Shah Masood), Dr. Abdullah Abdullah (former Foreign Minister and leader of Coalition for Change and Hope and also Head of National Coalition of Afghanistan), Mr. Yunos Qanooni (former Speaker and member of National Coalition of Afghanistan), and Mr. Faizullah Zaki (Uzbek leader and deputy head of Junbish-e-Milli Party).

Foreign Minister Khar assured the Afghan leaders that Pakistan attached great importance to friendly relations with all Afghans and it would support any solution of the Afghan issue which came from the Afghans themselves. She assured them that Pakistan had no hidden agenda in Afghanistan and whatever Afghan people decided to do they would find Pakistan behind it. The Afghan leaders appreciated Foreign Minister's visit as a gesture of goodwill and agreed that efforts for sustainable peace was the only way forward.

 

Islamabad
01 February 2012


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  • February 2, 2012

Joint Communique Between Afghanistan And Pakistan For Strengthening Bilateral Cooperation

The Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Her Excellency Hina Rabbani Khar visited Afghanistan on 1st February 2012 at the invitation of the Afghan Foreign Minister His Excellency Dr. Zalmai Rassoul. The two Foreign Ministers held bilateral talks. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar also called on His Excellency Mr. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The two sides held in-depth consultations to work out a programme of enhanced engagement for promoting bilateral cooperation in diverse fields, and:

Re-affirmed the historical, cultural and religious bonds of friendship that exist between the two neighbouring countries and their peoples;

Reiterated commitment to steer bilateral relations in accordance with the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, mutual respect and the UN Charter;

Agreed that a strong, robust and independent bilateral relationship would greatly contribute to peace and stability in the region.

Emphasized the need of working together towards enhanced bilateral engagement for deepening interaction in diverse fields including security, development, transit, trade, economic and investment linkages, infra- structure and energy connectivity and people to people contacts for harnessing mutual benefits;

Recognized that terrorism and extremism are common challenges that require common approach and close cooperation in dealing with these challenges;

The Pakistan side re-affirmed that they fully support and stand by the Afghan nation as they determine their own future.

Agreed that an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process is vital for reaching an intra-Afghan political settlement with a view to achieving long term peace, stability and progress in Afghanistan and it required taking necessary steps in specific areas requested by the Government of Afghanistan to facilitate the peace process;

Agreed to operationalize, on priority basis, a Joint Commission to address the prisoners issue as announced during the visit of President Karzai to Islamabad in June 2011;

Expressed satisfaction that due to increasing economic and commercial interaction between the two countries, documented annual bilateral trade has reached the level of $2.5 billion.

Agreed that facilitative steps should be taken to further enhance bilateral trade and achieve the target set by the leadership of $ 5 billon annual trade by 2015.

Acknowledged contribution of Prime Minister of Pakistan's 2000 scholarships scheme in facilitating higher education opportunities for Afghan students in Pakistani universities. More than 1400 Afghan students have so far benefited from this scheme, while some 7000 Afghan students are enrolled in Pakistani universities and professional colleges;

Agreed to finalize on priority basis a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for abolition of visa for diplomats;

Emphasized the need of working out a plan for promoting infrastructure and energy sector connectivity;

Agreed to explore donor funding for building Peshawar-Jalalabad and Quetta-Kandahar railways to facilitate the movement of goods and peoples between the two countries;

Reaffirmed that enhanced regional connectivity will be beneficial to stimulate economic growth and trade. In this regard, priority should be given to Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and CASA-1000 projects; and

Recognized the need of jointly pursuing trade and transit agreements with Central Asian states.

Agreed to consult for developing a framework for mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of mines and minerals and also give priority attention to the development of infra-structure for achieving shared progress and prosperity.

The Pakistani side stated that it looked forward to welcoming H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on visit to Pakistan on 16-17 February 2012.

 

Kabul,
01 February 2012


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