Afghan envoy calls for joint efforts for regional peace

Islamabad: Afghan Consul General Moen Marastial on Wednesday said that Pakistan and Afghanistan should make joint efforts to bring back sustainable peace and stability to the region.

“Both the countries are confronted with common challenges, which should be addressed through joint efforts,” the Afghan diplomat maintained. He was speaking at the condolence reference in memory of Alamzeb Khan, founder leader of the former Pak-Afghan People’s Forum.

The Regional Forum for Peace and Development (RFPD) had organised the event at the Peshawar Press Club. The forum president, Jehanzeb Khan, vice-president Liaqat Semaab, Prof Noorul Amin Yousafzai, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Jamal Khattak, Shaukat Ali, Kulsoom Zeb, Shamim Shahid, Anwar Zeb, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) leader Kifayat Ali, PPP Fata leader Ghani Gul Mahsud, son of late Alamzeb Khan and Tariq Alam addressed the gathering. The members of civil society, political workers, lawyers and people from different walk of life also attended the condolence reference.

The Afghan envoy said establishment of ‘people-to-people’ contact was key to resolving all outstanding issues between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He said that peaceful and prosperous Pakistan and Afghanistan were in the best interest of the entire region. He added both countries should take joint steps for restoration of durable peace and stability.

The Afghan envoy said the Afghanistan and Pakistan had cordial relations due to their common language, religion and culture. He called for cementing trade and economic relations between the two neighbouring countries.

He praised the efforts of Alamzeb Khan for bringing the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan closure to each other. He said that our thoughts are closely attached with vision of late Alamzeb Khan.

“Our mission is common. We want to give a peaceful and prosperous future to coming generations,” he said.

The Afghan envoy added his government had extended full support to accomplishment of mission of the forum. He assured that Kabul would provide all facilities and other arrangements for holding any event in Afghanistan.

Later, talking to media persons, the Afghan diplomat rejected the presumptions about expelling of Afghan refugees living in different parts of Pakistan within a month.

He clarified that the Federal cabinet had asked the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron) during its last meeting to prepare modalities and strategy of voluntarily return of Afghan nationals by January 31 instead of issuance of any notification for expelling them.

However, he said that it was impossible to ensure immediate return of around 2 million Afghan refugees living in different parts of Pakistan. He said there should be a mechanism for voluntarily repatriation of Afghans to their homeland.

Marastial said the Afghan government had taken measures for resettlement of Afghan refugees. He admitted that it would be a daunting task for his government to cater to the needs of the returning families.

The envoy reaffirmed that his government was committed to providing best residential, education and healthcare facilities to Afghan refugees on their return.

Earlier, speakers include Jehanzeb Khan, Liaqat Semaab, Prof Noorul Amin Yousafzai, Jamal Khattak, Shaukat Ali, Kulsoom Zeb, Shamim Shahid, Anwar Zeb, Kifayat Ali, Ghani Gul Mehsud, son of Alamzeb Khan (late), Tariq Alam paid glowing tributes to the services of Alamzeb Khan for bringing Pakistan and Afghanistan closure to each other. They urged Pakistan and Afghanistan to shun differences and show unity for establishment of everlasting peace and stability in the region.

The speakers noted that people on both side of borders had badly suffered during the prolonged war against terrorism.The participants stressed the need for promoting cordial relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan and bolstering bilateral trade and economic ties. They also shed light on the life of Alamzeb Khan and the ordeals he had faced during his life.

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