Pakistan-Afghanistan parliamentarians for boosting people to people contacts

PESHAWAR: Parliamentarians of Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday agreed to take further mutual steps in promoting people to people contacts to boost bilateral friendship.
In a joint statement issued at the conclusion of 9th round of dialogue between the Parliamentarians of Pakistan and Afghanistan here, they said mutual contacts are important for creating proper atmosphere for enhancing cooperation between the two brotherly countries.
Parliamentarians from Pakistan and Afghanistan stressed that the proposed interactions between the people from both sides should include all segments of society including women, youth, businessmen, media, cultural and professional groups.

Facilitated by PILDAT, the two-day dialogue was hosted by Pakistan- Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group in Pakistan Senate. Pakistani side was led by Senator Afrasiab Khattak of Awami National Party while Afghan parliamentary delegation was led by Senator Syed Farukh Shah Faryabi Jenab, Secretary Meshrano Jirga.
The parliamentarians welcomed the recent democratic political transition in Pakistan and termed it a major success for the people of Pakistan.
Strengthening of democratic forces of Pakistan is also a positive factor for promoting peace and stability in the region, they observed.
They also expressed hope that the coming presidential and parliamentary elections in Afghanistan would lead to strengthening of democracy.
Parliamentarians were of the considered opinion that the processes of peace and democracy are interlinked and strengthening of the one leads to reinforcement of the other.
They reiterated that although policy decisions are to be made by the executive branches of the government in the two countries, the parliaments need to play an important role by offering policy proposals to the two governments to improve bilateral relations.
The parliaments should also oversee the implementation of respective governments’ policies vis-a-vis strengthening of bilateral relations, they stressed, adding elected representatives of the people are the ones who fully understand aspirations of the people for peace and stability.
Both sides agreed to make use of available parliamentary instruments to promote implementation of the recommendations made during the dialogue.
The parliamentarians expressed sorrow over the loss of life in recent terrorist attack on a Peshawar Church and pointed out that such despicable acts expose criminal and brutal mature of the terrorists active in both countries.
They extended condolences to the bereaved families and opined that the sacrifices rendered by citizens of Pakistan and Afghanistan in struggle against terrorism will not go in vain as these strengthen resolve of the people to defeat the menace.
The participants underlined the necessity for more active cooperation between the two countries in thwarting the nefarious designs of terrorist groups active in the border areas.
They agreed that the terrorist groups were attacking innocent citizens on both sides of the border and creating misunderstanding between the two countries.
Experience has proved that the challenge of terrorism can only be met through honest cooperation between the security institutions of the two countries, they noted.
While discussing all the issues in a frank and honest manner, the members of parliament hoped that the government officials in charge of security on both sides would play their rightful role in a manner that prevents loss of life in the two countries. - APP

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