ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said relations with Afghanistan had undergone qualitative transformation since the government took over last year.

The prime minister expressed these views at a meeting with Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan Janan Mosazai here at the PM House.

Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan hoped the process of peace talks within Afghanistan would speed up and reach a successful conclusion soon. The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the increased security cooperation between the two countries and said the visits of the army chief proved quite fruitful in streamlining important matters.

He also expressed satisfaction over the first meeting of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Business Council that would be taking place in the next few weeks to attract international investors to both the countries.

He approved the appointment of a focal person to follow up implementation on the decisions taken during inter-ministerial meeting with Afghanistan, on daily basis.

A similar focal person would be appointed from the Afghan side as well, a PM House statement said here. Referring to the loss of lives due to avalanche in Afghanistan, Sharif said Pakistan stands by its brotherly neighbouring country in this hour of need and added he was deeply grieved over the devastating incident. He said Pakistan would be happy to provide any further assistance to help the people of Afghanistan meet this challenging situation.

The ambassador thanked the Pakistan government for providing generous help to Afghanistan in the form of relief supplies in the wake of the destruction caused by the recent avalanches. He also thanked the prime minister for sending a message of solidarity to the president of Afghanistan on this hour of grief.

The ambassador said Afghanistan was highly appreciative of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision of peaceful coexistence with all neighbouring countries. He told the prime minister that there was a strong domestic consensus in Afghanistan on peace efforts these days.

The matters relating to Afghan Transit Trade and CASA-1000 power transmission project also came under discussion.

The ambassador also conveyed best wishes of the Afghan president to the prime minister.

PM LEAVES FOR SAUDI ARABIA     TODAY: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will leave for Saudi Arabia Tuesday (today) on the invitation of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

The prime minister will hold talks with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest, including counterterrorism.

He will also perform Umrah during his visit. Sharif previously visited the kingdom twice in January, first time to inquire about the health of former King Abdullah and then to attend his funeral.

Addressing participants and scholars of the international counterterrorism conference that concluded in Makkah recently, King Salman called on the Muslim Ummah to unite and shun all forms of intolerance and extremism.


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will soon restart a helpline to directly listen to the complaints of the people.

This was stated by Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Maryam Aurangzeb in an interview with Radio Pakistan here on Monday. Maryam Aurangzeb said implementation of National Action Plan to counter terrorism was the foremost priority of the government to make the country a cradle of peace. She said Prime Minister himself was overseeing the implementation progress of the plan.

Answering a question, she said the government had no intention at this stage to restart issuing new arms licences. She pointed out that previous record of arms licences was being corrected and digitalised.

To another question, she said a comprehensive bill had been prepared for facilitation of the persons with disabilities.

Maryam Aurangzeb said mobile SIMs verification was an important point of the National Action Plan and it would help improve security situation in the country. She asked the people to get their SIMs verified.

Replying to yet another question, the parliamentary secretary for interior said the government had no intention to shut or control madaaris, but their registration was imperative. She said notices had been issued to 53 unregistered madaaris in the federal capital. She said registration of Afghan refugees was also being streamlined.