ISLAMABAD: ‘Pakistan and Afghanistan can play an important role in improving economy and security of their region and their strong bilateral relations can serve as role model for other countries to follow.’

This was stated by Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, while welcoming Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan Mr. Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi at Parliament House today who was visiting Pakistan along with a parliamentary delegation.

While talking to his Afghani counterpart, Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq urged for stronger Pak-Afghan inter-Parliamentary engagements cemented by frequent exchange of delegations.

Referring to Pak-Afghan ties, he highlighted that Pak-Afghan relations was deep rooted in stronger people-to-people contact, cultural affinities and shared interests. ‘Pakistan is the largest stakeholder in a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan and added that the future of both countries is linked’, he added. Stating to the value Pakistan attaches to its relations with Afghanistan, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq termed Afghanistan as the heart of Asia.

The Speaker stressed the need for cooperation in furthering an inclusive democracy in the region. He assured his Afghan counterpart that Pakistan will assist Afghanistan in capacity building of the Members and Staff of Afghan Wolesi Jirga, sharing best Parliamentary practices, legislative drafting and research.

He also added that Pakistan was committed to dignified repatriation of the Afghan refugees and willing to provide all kinds of assistance in post American withdrawal Afghanistan. He expressed confidence in resilience of the Afghan and Pakistani public that they will overcome joint challenges and will strengthen existing economic and cultural relations. 

The Speaker of Afghan Wolesi Jirga Mr. Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi stressed the need for stronger inter-Parliamentary relations for an inclusive democracy in Afghanistan. Mr. Ibrahimi highly appreciated Pakistan’s gesture of supporting the Afghan Parliament in capacity building of its staff and members. He added that relations with Pakistan were of paramount importance in Afghan foreign policy and expressed his hope that people on both sides of Pak-Afghan border share their future in a peaceful and prosperous region.

Mr. Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi remarked that Afghan population was highly indebted to Pakistan for providing shelter and economic opportunities to Afghan refugees for more than 37 years. In quest of achieving shared prosperity, he underlined the need for further expansion of Pak-Afghan relations

Convener Pak Afghan Parliamentary Friendship Group Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and Member National Assembly Sajid Hussain Turi were also present in the meeting.