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August 23, 2019

Afghan-led, Afghan-owned settlement only way to peace: Sanjrani

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August 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani said on Thursday that a politically negotiated settlement, led and owned by Afghans themselves, was the only way forward for the long term peace in Afghanistan.

“We are determined to build our bilateral relationship on the principles of non-interference, mutual respect and common interest with Afghanistan. Pakistan does not have any favourites in Afghanistan,” he emphasised. Afghan MP team head supported Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir and called for restoring Indian Occupied Kashmir’s status.

Sanjrani said, “We wish to see a government in Kabul that is representative of the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan. He was talking here at the Parliament House to a parliamentary delegation from Afghanistan, on a visit to Pakistan.

He said that keeping in view the importance of the Afghanistan as a brotherly neighboring country, he himself as a Senate Chairman and Speaker of the National Assembly speaker would lead the delegation to Afghanistan to deliberate the issue and seek support of the Afghan parliament and people on Kashmir.

The Senate Chairman said that a stable and prosperous Afghanistan was imperative for Pakistan and wider South Asian region as peace, security and stability of Afghanistan was linked to the security in Pakistan as well as of the other regional countries.

He also hosted a lunch in honour of the visiting delegates which was participated by parliamentarians from the both Houses at Senate Banquet Hall. During the meeting, both the sides identified trade and economic cooperation and regional connectivity as important convergence points.

Sanjrani said that Pakistan had played a pivotal role in taking forward the peace process in good faith and as a shared responsibility. “Pakistan welcomes the outcome of talks on Afghanistan. The ultimate decision regarding political settlement can only be made by the Afghan themselves. Pakistan remains the most natural partner of Afghanistan for its effective rehabilitation, reconstruction, and economic revival in the post settlement,” he maintained.

The Senate chairman said that the visit of Afghan parliamentary delegation on the invitation of the Upper House of Parliament was of vital importance, and both the countries should benefit from experiences from each other. He added that the state, government and people of Pakistan always remained with their Afghan brethren during all odds and would continue to do so as both the countries are integral to one another.

He said that both the countries should seek new avenues for mutual cooperation and prioritise each other for the trade rather than preferring the other countries for this purpose. He called upon an active interaction between the youth in both countries to steer the mutual collaboration. Senate Chairman said that the Kashmiris in the occupied Kashmir are facing the brutalities of the Indian forces.

The Afghan government and the people, he emphasised, should support the cause of Kashmir. He said that the Parliament of Pakistan was planning to send delegations to different countries for raising the issue of Kashmir and human rights violations in the occupied region by the Indian forces.

Talking on the occasion, Leader of the House in Senate, Senator Shibli Faraz and Senator Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif called for finding common solution to the common problems confronting both Afghanistan and Pakistan as both the countries share common religion, faith, culture and history.

The head of the visiting Afghan delegation, Senator Qais Khan Wakilli, thanked the Senate and the Chairman for invitation and warm welcome to Pakistan. He said that Afghanistan could not forget the support extended by Pakistan, especially, during the Afghan war for hosting millions of Afghan refugees.

He said, “We also appreciate the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts carried out by Pakistan in different regions of Afghanistan and express the hope that this support would be extended for developing the health infrastructure in the country.”

He contended that there was a need to improve the legislation on both sides to facilitate the enhancement of bilateral trade. He also lauded the role played by Pakistan in the Afghan peace process. He said that the Kashmir was not only a problem of Pakistan and Afghanistan rather an issue of whole Muslim Ummah.

He said that the Kashmiris were being subjected to torture and brutalities. He said that we support Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir and insist on the government of India to withdraw the recent changes in the constitution with regard to Kashmir.

The members of the Afghan delegation said that both Pakistan and Afghanistan are facing the threat of terrorism and extremism and should find a common solution to this. They said that the Kashmir issue was close to their hearts and they condemned the repeal of the Article 370 of the Indian constitution.

The Senate chairman thanked the Afghan delegation for support on Kashmir issue and said that they are supporting the humanity. He said that the Senate of Pakistan is willing to provide all out support for training of the Afghan Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff of the legislative body of Afghanistan at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS). He said that the friendship groups in the parliaments of both the countries need to be activated for enhancing the cooperation in various sectors.

Afghan delegation, led by Senator Qais Khan Wakilli, consisted of Senators Fatima Akbari, Dr Gul Mohammad Rasooli, Wali Shah Naibzada, Mohammad Daood Ghaffari and Ghulam Mahudin.

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