Pakistani, Afghan parliamentarians call for stronger bilateral ties

Islamabad: Parliamen­tarians from Pakistan and Afghanistan have stressed the need for stronger ties between the two countries to ensure regional security.

Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, the speaker of Wolesi Jirga or the lower house of Afghan parliament, met a Pakistani delegation in Kabul on Saturday and discussed ways to improve relations between the two countries and stability in Afghanistan.

According to a report posted on Afghanistan’s ToloNews television channel’s website, the Pakistani delegation stressed the need for strengthened ties between Kabul and Islamabad.

“Problems and challenges have to be led by our people, and we strongly believe that for a stable Pakistan, for a prosperous Pakistan, we need to see a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. This is the concern of people at home,” said MNA Shazia Marri.

The Wolesi Jirga’s speaker said Afghanistan was a victim of terrorism in the region. He criticised Pakistan for the lack of sincere cooperation in anti-terror efforts, the TV channel said.

“The required cooperation which was provided by the Pakistan nation and Pakistan government to Afghanistan during jihad, was not provided after the victory of mujahedeen,” Speaker Ibrahimi said.

One member of the Pakistani delegation reacted to Mr Ibrahimi’s remarks, and said: “No country suffered like Pakistan. We used to have more than 2,500 bombings in Pakistan and we have launched the biggest operation against terrorism and extremism in Pakistan which is like no other country. We are getting out of it and our relations on that front are improving.” However the channel did not name the Pakistani parliamentarian concerned.

The visit of the Pakistani delegation to Kabul comes as Islamabad is to host a meeting of lawmakers from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, China and Russia to discuss the war on terror.

Mr Ibrahimi was invited by the Pakistani delegation to attend the meeting next week in Islamabad.

Also, Geo News reported that parliamentarians from the two countries as well as defence and foreign affairs experts attended a meeting of the Pak-Afghan Joint Action Committee in Kabul on Saturday.

It said that the meeting welcomed the military cooperation between the two countries and urged the two sides to immediately start talks for mutual trade.

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