Prime Minister David Cameron,
President Ashraf Ghani,
Secretary John Kerry,
Ladies and Gentlemen
I thank Prime Minister David Cameron for organizing this important Conference on Afghanistan.
Let me begin by reiterating that Pakistan remains in strong solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.
We are aware of the challenges that history and geography have consistently posed for the people of Afghanistan.
Only recently our brothers have suffered fresh casualties from terrorist attacks in Paktika and Kabul. I offer my sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones.
Over the past 13 years, Afghanistan has made significant gains in many important areas. The landmark agreement between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, to form a government of national unity is an important milestone in this democratic transition.
We fully support the Government’s forward-looking vision and reform programme – including measures to strengthen the economy, governance, and the rule of law – with the overall aim of achieving self-reliance during the “Transformation Decade,” and its plans for regional connectivity.
We have also welcomed the government’s call for dialogue, and its determination to resolve differences through political means.
I recently had the privilege of welcoming President Ashraf Ghani on his first state visit to Pakistan. I am convinced that we made a historic new beginning in our bilateral relations.
I shared with President Ghani my vision of a comprehensive and enduring partnership between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which contributes to the security and prosperity of our two nations and reinforces efforts for peace and development in the region.
We agreed that terrorism, a common enemy, must be fought through common endeavours, without any distinction. We reaffirmed the commitment that neither side would allow its territory to be used against the other.
We have initiated actions to deepen security cooperation, promote bilateral trade and streamline transit trade issues, build a stronger economic relationship with a new focus on investments, and enhanced regional economic cooperation.
We have also agreed to fast-track the implementation of key trans-regional energy projects – particularly CASA-1000 and TAPI gas pipeline.
We would also work together to promote the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process – as Pakistan will host its 5th Ministerial Conference in 2015.
While recognizing the principle of reciprocal commitments, underlining the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF), it is our considered view that the international community would need to do more, to help the Afghan leadership realize its vision and to advance our common goal of a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan.
Specifically, I propose nine points for consideration by the international partners:
i) Send a clear message of deeper engagement with Afghanistan.
ii) Respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and the dignity of its people.
iii) Help address the urgent fiscal crisis and provide sustained financial assistance through the “Transformation Decade”, for building a secure and self-reliant Afghanistan.
iv) Build development cooperation according to the development priorities of the Afghan government.
v) Strengthen efforts in the fight against narcotics production and trafficking.
vi) Support the new government’s desire to bring back 5 million Afghan refugees living abroad, by helping to create conducive conditions for their sustainable reintegration.
vii) Support projects for regional connectivity – such as the Peshawar-Kabul Motorway and the rail link.
viii) Implement the vision of Afghanistan as a “land-bridge” by supporting communications and energy corridors.
ix) Reinforce economic CBMs of the Heart of Asia, as part of the regional processes for the stabilization of Afghanistan.
I thank you all.
Last modified: November 21, 2019
Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world.