ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar on Tuesday said Pakistan is committed to making meaningful contributions towards reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan by carrying out various development activities.
He made these remarks while chairing the 14th meeting of the Committee for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Afghanistan in his capacity as Deputy Chairman Planning Commission.
“Development in Afghanistan is development for Pakistan,” said the minister assuring that Islamabad is determined to play its role in the reconstruction of the war-torn country and informed that the government has undertaken various initiatives and projects in diverse sectors in this regard.
He also underlined the present government is committed to working with the Afghan government to ensure timely completion of all on-going projects.
“Our commitment for development of various projects in Afghanistan demonstrates our priorities,” emphasised the minister adding that Pakistan attaches great importance to bilateral relations with its neighbours.
During the meeting, it was also apprised that Pakistan, being a neighbour of Afghanistan, had launched a relief package ‘Programme for Reconstruction & Rehabilitation of Afghanistan’ in 2001 with a pledge of $100 million grant which was gradually enhanced over the years to $1000 million in 2016.
Similarly, it was also informed that between 2002 and 2013, 14 projects were implemented in Afghanistan whereas presently 15 projects worth Rs32.45 billion are being executed in Afghanistan in a number of areas including construction of hospitals, hostel building, provision of scholarships to Afghan students and upgrade of road between Torkham and Jalalabad.
The meeting was also attended by Additional Secretary Planning Ali Raza Bhutta, senior officials from relevant ministries and consultants of the projects who were all given briefings on the projects and initiatives being undertaken in Afghanistan at present.