ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Sunday urged Afghanistan to avoid the blame-game and work together to a mutually beneficial future.
He expressed these views in a frank ‘heart-to-heart’ meeting, spanning over five hours with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential palace in Kabul, a press release said.
Speaker Ayaz Sadiq is currently on an official visit to Afghanistan on the invitation of the Afghan President with an aim to lower the tensions between the two neighbouring states. He is leading an unprecedented 15 Member parliamentary delegation of top leaders from both Houses of the Pakistani Parliament.
The Speaker made it clear to the Afghan President that Pakistan believed in harnessing good neighbourly relations on equal footing. “There is no Big Brother between us,” assured Speaker Ayaz Sadiq. He said the delegation had come with an open heart to start a new beginning in the bilateral relations of the two countries.
The Speaker shared with the President about his proposal of hosting a joint Conference of the Speakers of Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China with an aim to seek solutions of the regional problems regionally.
President Ashraf Ghani, in his detailed analysis of the Pak-Afghan relations put on table the Afghan grievances and called for a working mechanism to resolve all out-standing differences.
He said, “Time for peace in the region was running short.” In an academic tone, he talked about the 5th Wave of Terrorism around the world and the impacts of trans-national terrorism on countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He warned that, “If the two states failed to address the challenges now, the consequences could be disastrous for both the countries.” He stressed on the co-existence of a stable Pakistan side by side a stable Afghanistan. He acknowledged the contributions of Pakistan during the Afghan Jihad and thanked the people of Pakistan for their generous hospitality of the Afghan refugees.
Ashraf Ghani stressed on a ‘five principles’ approach, comprising a prime focus on the state-to-state relations instead of seeking peace with individual groups, honouring each others’ sovereignty; ensuring no use of each-others’ territory against each other, agreement on a common definition of terrorism and opening up of transit trade.
In their respective remarks the each Member of the Pakistan delegation referred to the centuries old ties of the people of the two countries and stressed on harnessing upon the innate goodwill for each other. NNI