Qaisar, Masood talk trade, inclusive peace bid

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

At a meeting with Masood Foundation chief Ahmad Wali Massoud, the speaker hoped: “The peace process will herald an era of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region.”

Wali Massoud, accompanied by a delegation, called on Qaisar in Islamabad on Wednesday evening.

The visit is part of Pakistan’s policy to reach out to Afghanistan’s political leadership to forge an understanding on the Afghan peace process.

Bilateral relations, the political situation in the region and issues of mutual interest came under discussion at the meeting.

Qaisar underlined Pakistan’s desire for a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. He said Pakistan stoutly backed inclusive, broad based and political peace efforts in Afghanistan.

He urged the Afghan parties to seize the current opportunity and engage constructively to end decades of war in their country.

With the people of Afghanistan yearning for peace in their country, the speaker insisted there was no military solution to the Afghan issue.

The Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group in National Assembly took the lead to discuss recommendations for removing impediments to strengthening bilateral relations and trade, he added.

Pakistan had opened the Durand Line for their Afghan brethren during the COVID-19 pandemic apart from removing tariff barriers and hurdles to bilateral and transit trade.

He hoped the Afghan brethren would benefit from visa facilitation by the Pakistan government for visitors, students specially patients.

Afghanistan, given its location, could serve as a gateway to Central Asia bring CPEC benefits to its people, the speaker believed.

He said the establishment of border markets would enhance economic activities on both sides of the Durand Line.

Wali Masood said that Afghans commended Pakistan’s efforts for peace in Afghanistan and valued it for hosting Afghan refugees for decades.

He agreed the involvement of all parties in the peace process was essential for lasting stability and an end to the conflict in in Afghanistan.