Pak, Afghan lawmakers agree to continue dialogue process
26 September, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The 9th Round of Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentarians' Dialogue was held on September 24 and 25 in Islamabad.
Facilitated by PILDAT, the dialogue was hosted by Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group in the Senate of Pakistan under the leadership of Senator Afrasiab Khattak.
The delegation of Afghan parliamentarians was led by Senator Syed Farukh Shah Faryabi Jenab, secretary, Meshrano Jirga, Afghanistan.
After evaluating the progress made in the past eight rounds of the dialogue, and taking note of the recent visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Pakistan, both sides agreed to continue the dialogue process to create and sustain a positive political atmosphere.
They also appreciated the goodwill generated by the recent visit of Pakistani Senate's Defence and Defence Production Committee to Kabul. Parliamentarians of both the countries expressed pleasure over the fact that their dialogue was gradually getting institutionalised.
Participants of the dialogue 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 terrorist groups were attacking innocent citizens on both sides of the border and creating misunderstanding between the two countries.
MPs hoped that 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.
The parliamentarians at the dialogue expressed deep sorrow over the loss of life in the recent terrorists attack on a Peshawar church and pointed out that such despicable acts expose the criminal and brutal nature of the terrorists active in the both countries. They extended condolence to the bereaved families. They opined that the sacrifices rendered by citizens of Pakistan and Afghanistan in struggle against terrorism will not go in vain as they strengthen the resolve of the people to defeat terrorism.
Participants expressed confidence that the ideas generated by the current debate would go a long way in solving the existing issues between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Parliamentarians from both sides 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 said.
They also expressed hope that the coming presidential and parliamentary elections in Afghanistan would also lead to strengthening of democracy in Afghanistan. Parliamentarians were of the considered opinion that the processes of peace and democracy are interlinked and strengthening of the one leads to the reinforcement of the other.
Participants of the dialogue agreed that expansion of people-to-people contact was paramount for the friendship between the two countries. They agreed to take further mutual steps in promoting relationship between the people of two countries as it is 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 side should include people from all segments of society including women, youth, businesspersons, media, cultural and professional groups.
Participants of the dialogue reiterated that although policy decisions are to be made by the executive branches of the government in the two countries, parliaments in the two countries need to play an important role by offering policy proposals to the two governments to improve relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Both sides agreed to make use of available parliamentary instruments to promote the implementation of the recommendations made during the dialogue between the MPs of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Afghan delegation thanked their Pakistan hosts for warm hospitality extended to them and the excellent arrangements made for facilitating the dialogue.
The Afghan delegation that joined Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentarians Dialogue-IX included Senator Farukh Shah Faryabi Jenab, secretary, Meshrano Jirga, Senator Hafiz Abdul Qayyum Nooristani, deputy chairman, Legislative Affairs Commission, Meshrano Jirga, Muhammad Daud Asas, deputy chairman, Defence, Internal Security and Local Administration Commission of Meshrano Jirga, Senator Dr Muhammed Amin Safi, member, Defence, Internal Security and Local Administration Commission of Meshrano Jirga, Senator Rafiullah Haieri, member, Foreign Affairs Commission, Meshrano Jirga and Senator Lailoma Ahmadi, member, Educational and Religious Affairs Commissio, Meshrano Jirga.
Pakistani MPs who joined the dialogue under the chairpersonship of Senator Afrasiab Khattak (ANP, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), convener of Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group in the Senate of Pakistan, included Senator Haji Adeel (ANP, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Senator Abbas Khan Afridi (IND, FATA), Senator Surriya Amiruddin (PPPP, Balochistan), Senator Farhatullah Babar (PPPP, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Senator Dr Muhammad Jehangir Badr (PPPP, Punjab), Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash (ANP, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Senator Naseema Ehsan (BNP-A, Balochistan), Senator Saeed Ghani (PPPP, Sindh), Senator Najma Hameed (PML-N, Punjab), Senator Saeeda Iqbal (PPPP, ICT), Senator Baz Muhammad Khan (ANP, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Senator Saeedul Hassan Mandokhel (PML, Balochistan), Senator Shilrala Malick (MQM, Sindh), Senator Malik Najamul Hassan (IND, FATA), Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed (PML, Islamabad), Senator Muhammad Saleh Shah (IND, FATA) and Senator Shahi Syed (ANP, Sindh).
Members of the National Assembly of Pakistan joining the dialogue included Mr Aftab Khan Sherpao, MNA, (QWP-S), Eng Hamidul Haq, MNA (NA-2, Peshawar II, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PTI), Siraj Muhammad Khan, MNA (NA-6, Nowshera II, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PTI), Eng Ali Muhammad Khan, MNA (NA-10, Mardan II, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PTI), Mujahid Ali Khan, MNA (NA-11, Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PTI), Usman Khan Tarrakai, MNA (NA-12, Swabi-I, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, AJIP), Iftikharuddin, MNA (NA-32, Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, APML), Mr Junaid Akber Khan, MNA (NA-35, Malakand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PTI), Qaiser Jamal, MNA (NA-47, Tribal Area VIII, FATA) and Nafeesa Inayatullah Khattak, MNA (NA-273, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PTI).