Kabul, May 30; Friendship and Deep Relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan are the way forward for regional stability and Peace, said Mr. Hamid Karzai while what he termed as ‘very warm welcome’ to Pakistani Parliamentarians who called on him today upon the conclusion of the 5th round of Pak-Afghan Parliamentarians Dialogue in Kabul, facilitated by PILDAT. Please take a message of deepest love from Afghanistan to Pakistan, said Mr. Karzai.
Parliamentarians of Pakistan joined their Afghan counterparts in Kabul for a two-day dialogue, May 29-30, 2011, that focussed on counter-terrorism strategies for the two countries.
Pakistani MPs, who appreciated the welcome and hospitality of President Karzai, said that the Parliament of Pakistan, reflecting all political shades in Pakistan, stands firmly behind strengthening of ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan. They said that only through people-to-people dialogue can the two countries move forward on removing mistrust and cultivate and enhance the deepest ties between the two countries.
Pakistani delegation included Honourable Senator Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali, Deputy Chairman Senate of Pakistan and Honourable Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan; Honourable Senator Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi, PML; Honourable Senator Fauzia Fakhar-uz-Zaman, PML; Honourable Senator Najma Hameed, PML-N; Honourable Senator Mrs. Saeeda Iqbal, PPPP; Honourable Senator Afrasiab Khattak, ANP, Honourable Senator Dr. Abdul Malik, Honourable Malik Amad Khan, PPPP; Honourable Dr. Muhammad Ayub Shaikh, MQM, Honourable Mr. Nadeem Afzal Gondal, PPPP; Honourable Mr. Pervaiz Khan, Advocate, ANP; Honourable Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi, PML-N; Honourable Mr. Humayon Saifullah Khan, PML; Honourable Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, PML, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director PILDAT, Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director PILDAT, Mr. Hmmal Dostain and Mr. Mamoon Bilal, Project Managers of PILDAT.
Pakistani MPs shared with President Karzai details of the comprehensive round of dialogue and candid interaction that took place in two days. President Karzai was also presented with a copy of the Joint Resolution agreed to by the Parliamentarians of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the text of which is given below:
“The Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentarians’ Dialogue 5th round took place in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 29-30, 2011 on the overarching theme of terrorism. The Parliamentarians of the two countries held a candid dialogue while recognizing that both Pakistan and Afghanistan are victims of terrorism and joint efforts are needed to address this scourge.
Both sides agreed that while blame game is counter-productive and not a solution to this affliction, it is Parliamentary dialogue and Parliamentary support and oversight over executive in both countries for mutual cooperation on areas such as intelligence sharing, improved coordination on Counter-Terrorism Operations, install effective control on growth and supply of drugs fuelling terrorist-financing and terrorism in the region, and enhancing border security management that will help the two countries and the region rid itself of terrorism. They also believed that central banks of both Pakistan and Afghanistan should follow recommendations of Basel Committee III on supervision of Banks especially on Money Laundering and Terrorist financing.
Parliamentarians of the two countries agreed that the representative institutions of two countries should adopt a people-oriented approach to resolving bilateral issues and exercise greater control and oversight on key national policies including that of internal and external security and pursue independent national foreign policies that do not work at cross-purposes of each other. Parliamentarians believed that while remaining part of tripartite cooperation in the area of security, Pakistan and Afghanistan should also develop bilateral cooperation between the Armed Forces and Security Agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Parliamentarians agreed that the two countries should institute, and effectively exercise, mechanisms to carry out due diligence of NGO funding in both countries and stress on international donors to help the two countries build indigenous and sustainable capabilities and facilities.
The Parliamentarians also agreed that visa free regime between Parliamentarians of two countries should be implemented immediately. Greater cooperation is needed in both countries, through support from each Parliament, on overseeing liberal visa policies, facilitating and enhancing communication networks including roads, rail and air travel, telephony and trade. Parliamentarians from two neighbouring countries also decided to support greater media interaction and exchange, both print and electronic, between the two countries by urging and facilitating both governments and independent media networks to operate in each other’s country. They also urged that Pakistani and Afghan investors and business persons should get reciprocal incentives in each country to strengthen business and trade.
The two sides also agreed that greater facilitation, support and opportunities need to be provided to Afghan students to study in Pakistan through scholarships, skill-enhancement and capacity-building programmes. Youth and Cultural Exchanges should be facilitated between the two countries and cricket should be promoted as a way of enhancing better people to people contact.
Parliamentarians believe that early return of Afghan refugees in Pakistan to Afghanistan with dignity and honour should be facilitated by both countries, and assisted by the United Nations. Moreover the two countries should sign a treaty of extradition of criminals on both sides, as well as set-up a Commission on Prisoners that could facilitate exchange of those prisoners who have not committed heinous crimes.
Parliamentarians also stressed that Parliaments of the two countries should work to remove trust deficit in the areas that strain the relationship between two brotherly countries. They agreed that the Parliaments of two countries should nudge and support their respective executive branches to enter into negotiations and in the future draft treaties on upcoming issues of interest to both countries that, once put in place, should be ratified by the two Parliaments.
The two sides agreed on the need for a follow up mechanism, appreciating the role of PILDAT that serves as a focal point and continues to provide support and assistance to the dialogue process. Dialogue is important for the two countries to achieve their potential and it was decided that institutionalisation and continuation of the dialogue will be facilitated which will periodically provide a forum to representatives of the two countries to take stock of their resolutions and decisions agreed to and recorded through joint declarations and dialogue proceedings.
Parliamentarians of Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed, upon conclusion of the dialogue, to move content of the joint declaration in the form of resolutions in respective Parliaments for adoption and follow up with the respective Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
The delegation also called on Honourable Mr. Burhanuddin Rabbani, Chairman High Peace Council and interacted in detail on areas where the two countries can cooperate in bringing regional peace.
The dialogue is a continuation of PILDAT’s commitment to strengthening Parliamentary ties and relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Earlier, four joint workshops of Pakistani and Afghani Parliamentarians have been facilitated by PILDAT since 2008. The broad objective behind the initiative has been to facilitate Parliaments of the two countries to develop a relationship based on greater interaction and dialogue with each other on bilateral and regional relations and issues of mutual interest.