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An Afghan Parliamentary delegation comprising members of the Meshrano Jirga (upper house) and Wolesi Jirga (lower house) met with the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, at the Foreign Office today.

The Adviser underlined the importance Pakistan attaches to a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan and a friendly and good-neighbourly relationship between the two countries. The Adviser said that following the visit of President Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan, both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ghani had agreed on evolving and implementing a vision of a comprehensive and enduring partnership between Pakistan and Afghanistan, contributing to the security and prosperity of the two countries and reinforcing efforts for peace and development in the region.

The Adviser added that the visit of President Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan in November had helped commence a historic new phase in Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations with a special focus on political engagement, security and counter-terrorism cooperation, deeper trade and economic foundation, and regional cooperation.

The Adviser underscored the importance of common endeavours to address common challenges and root out the scourge of terrorism. He noted that both sides had made the commitment not to allow their respective territories to be used against the other. In this context, bilateral interaction between the security institutions had already intensified.

The Adviser stressed that Pakistan stands in strong solidarity with the fraternal people of Afghanistan as they pass through multiple transitions, and would continue to extend all possible support in Afghanistan’s quest for peace, stability and progress.

The Adviser also highlighted the significance of Parliamentary exchanges for deepening the friendship between the two nations. He stressed the need for more frequent people-to-people exchanges including youth, businesspersons, media, cultural and professional groups.

The Afghan delegation, for its part, expressed solidarity with Pakistan over the loss of innocent lives in the terrorist attack in Peshawar and highlighted the importance of joint efforts against the common threat of terrorism. They also expressed support for a closer Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship, marked by deeper cooperation in the political, trade, security and people-to-people spheres. The delegation members affirmed their commitment to make their due contribution in forging a closer bilateral relationship.

The Afghan delegation’s visit is part of the regular Parliamentarians’ Dialogue between the two countries. The delegation is jointly led by Senator Baz Mohammad Zurmati and MP Abdul Qader Zazai. Senator Afrasiab Khattak was also present during the meeting.

30 December 2014

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