PRAISES HIS ROLE IN STRENGTHENING PAK-AFGHAN FRIENDSHIP

PRAISES HIS ROLE IN STRENGTHENING PAK-AFGHAN FRIENDSHIP

Islamabad, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser met outgoing Ambassador of Afghanistan Shukurullah Atif Mashal in Islamabad, today. The Speaker while talking to the Ambassador said that he had played a vital role in bringing both the brotherly countries more closer. He remarked that both the countries were intertwined in religious, cultural and historic bonds. He said that several foreign attempts aimed to disrupt relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan had not been successful due to commitment and understanding of both the nations. Referring to the formation of task forces of Pak-Afghan Parliamentary Friendship Group, the Speaker said that the Task Forces deliberated a spectrum of issues affecting trade and people to people contact between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said that recommendations had been finalised on normalizing Afghan bound container traffic, liberalizing border trade and visa regime and Tracking and Scanning of containers on arrival and departure from Pakistan, which had partly been implemented. He assured that rest of the issues would be resolve soon. He said that grant of short term visa on arrival to patients and their families and long term visa to students was in final approval stage. The Speaker said that pak-Afghan parliamentary cooperation besides collaboration in trade and commerce sectors would further boost development and prosperity on both sides of the border. Referring to his recent telephonic conversation with Speaker Afghan Wolesi Jirga, the Speaker said that establishment of special committees on both sides would give an impetus to the pak-afghan relations. The Speaker wished the Ambassador good luck for his new ambassadorial assignment. Afghan Ambassador Shukurullah Atif Mashal thanked the Speaker for his kind and encouraging remarks. He said that he had spent memorable time in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan feels like a second home to him and would always cherish its memories. He agreed that both the nations have much affinity which was increasing with the passage of time. He praised the role of Speaker in taking the lead role in trade facilitation and resolution of contentious issues.He said that Afghanistan attaches immense importance to its relations with Pakistan. He said that support of Pakistan for bringing peace in Afghanistan are commendable. He said that extending trade and cooperation in diverse sectors would be beneficial for both the countries. He praised the role of Parliamentary Friendship Groups in augmentation of existing cordial relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.