BRUSSELS - Pakistan has made fresh pledge of 500 million dollars for economic development projects in Afghanistan. This was announced by Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz while addressing Brussels Conference on Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Underlining importance of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan for Pakistan, the Adviser said this amount is in addition to 500 million dollars existing package under which projects in infrastructure, education and health are nearing completion.

He also announced that Pakistan has provided 3000 scholarships to Afghan students for higher education in Pakistan and after completion of this programme, Pakistan will provide another 3000 scholarships in the fields of medicine, engineering, banking and other fields to help Afghanistan’s institution building.

Sartaj Aziz emphasised that politically negotiated settlement is the most viable option for bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan.

He welcomed the peace deal signed between Afghan Government and Hizb-i-Islami assuring Pakistan’s continued efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group. He said that our message to Taliban remains to shun violence and to join the peace process.