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Kabul-Islamabad should strengthen bilateral trade to boost regional economy: Aftab Sherpao

14 May, 2018

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PESHAWAR: Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao has urged the writers and intellectuals of Pakistan and Afghanistan to play their role to remove the trust deficit between the two brotherly states and overcome the menace of terrorism.

Addressing a gathering of writers and poets as chief guest on the silver jubilee of Pashto monthly journal ‘Leekwal’ here on Sunday, he said that both Kabul and Islamabad should strengthen bilateral trade to boost regional economy.

Other speakers including Noorul Bashar Naveed, Hashim Babar, Saadullah Jan Barq, Saleem Raz, Dr Alam Yousufzai and Afghan diplomat Zardasht Shams also asked for improvement of diplomatic ties between Kabul and Islamabad.

Mr Sherpao said that Afghanistan should also be included in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said that an economic zone should be established in Jalalabad on the pattern of the one designed to be set up in Nowshera to increase trade activities.

He said that writers had vital role in shaping the mindset of people. He urged the writers of both Pakistan and Afghanistan to work jointly to ease the ongoing tension in the region as sustainable peace was in the interests of both the countries. He said that writers-to-writers contact on both sides of the border will help to resolve the core issues.

The QWP chief said that Pakistan and Afghanistan remained victims of terrorism and extremism since long and it was high time for both to strengthen cordial relations to bring long-lasting peace and economic prosperity in the region.

He said that QWP raised its voice for merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwaas it was the only solution to the problems of Pakhtuns. He said that Pakhtuns rendered matchless sacrifices for the country but they were not given their due rights.

Mr Sherpao said that any stop-gap arrangement except merger of Fata with the province would not be a solution to the problems of tribal people.

He said that merger of tribal areas with the province would strengthen the unity of Pukhtuns. Criticising federal government, he said that smaller federating units were denied their share in the financial resources. He said that federal government was not taking interest in the problems of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It would increase mistrust between the federation and provinces, he added.

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