Building bridges: ‘Student exchange to cement Pak-Afghan ties’

Published: November 29, 2014
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"Parliamentarians, media persons, traders and students should remain active in improving relations," Afghan Consul General Syed Muhammad Ibrahim Khel. PHOTO: STOCK IMAGE

"Parliamentarians, media persons, traders and students should remain active in improving relations," Afghan Consul General Syed Muhammad Ibrahim Khel. PHOTO: STOCK IMAGE

PESHAWAR: Student exchange programmes between Afghanistan and Pakistan will strengthen ties between both countries, said Afghan Consul General Syed Muhammad Ibrahim Khel.

He was speaking at a meeting with students from Edwardes College at the Afghan consulate in the provincial capital on Friday.

According to Khel, such visits serve the dual purpose of improving bilateral relations and allowing young people the opportunity to learn about each other’s culture.

“More people-to-people contact between the countries is needed at all levels,” said the consul general. “Parliamentarians, media persons, traders and students should remain active in improving relations.”

Khel said students from Pakistan will be invited to Afghanistan in spring to explore options available to pursue education. They will be given the opportunity to visit schools, colleges and universities, he added.

“The media paints a negative image of relations between the countries,” said Khel. “However, a student exchange programme will draw attention to the positive aspects of relations between the two countries.”

According to Khel, the ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan cannot be strengthened unless people make an effort to understand each other.

Earlier in the month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made his first state visit to Pakistan, less than two months after taking over the reins from his predecessor. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Ghani vowed to collectively tackle terrorism and usher in a new era of economic cooperation.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2014.

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