MAZAR-I-SHARIF, AFGHANISTAN: Delegates at an unofficial dialogue between Pakistan and Afghanistan renewed calls for both governments to take steps against cross-border movement of terrorists and stressed the need for rooting out terrorism in the interest of regional peace and stability.
Recognising the deterioration in relations between the two countries, they underscored the need for enhancing interactions in education, culture and sports.
Both sides discussed various crucial issues such as peace and security, refugees, media cooperation, movement of goods and people and liberalising visa regimes.
The dialogue, titled ‘Beyond Boundaries’ under Track-II mechanism, was jointly organised by the Islamabad-based Centre for Research and Security Studies and the Kabul-based Women and Peace Studies Organization (WPSO).
Discussions were held between five and seven members from Pakistan and Afghanistan and participants included security experts, parliamentarians, members of the civil society and business and media representatives.
The Pakistani team included former Balochistan police chief Dr Shoaib Suddle, Qazi Humayun and Mian Sanaullah (both former ambassadors) and PPP MNA Shazia Marri.
Focusing on the recent episode of Sharbat Gula’s deporation, both sides agreed upon the need for evolving a legal mechanism for benefiting vulnerable Afghan refugees
Both sides agreed to urge their respective governments to ensure repatriation of Afghan refugees with dignity and honor. On trade, both sides urged their respective governments to quickly review the Afghan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement.
Members of the Pakistani group visited two under construction projects in Kabul, namely Jinnah Hospital and Rehman Baba School and hostel.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2016.
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