London conference: PM urges world to do more for Afghans

Says Islamabad and Kabul are committed to a peaceful, stable Afghanistan.

APP/afp December 04, 2014


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while reiterating Pakistan’s solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, urged the international community to do more to help the Afghan leadership realise its vision.

In his address at the London Conference on Afghanistan, Nawaz said Islamabad and Kabul were committed to advance their common goal of a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister is on a three-day visit to the United Kingdom to participate in the conference also attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and US Secretary of State John Kerry. The Conference is being co-hosted by the Governments of UK and Afghanistan.

He said over the past 13 years, Afghanistan has made significant gains in many important areas and mentioned the landmark agreement between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, to form a government of national unity, as an important milestone in this democratic transition.

“We fully support the Afghan government’s forward-looking vision and reform programme — including measures to strengthen the economy, governance, and the rule of law — with the overall aim of achieving self-reliance during the “Transformation Decade”, and its plans for regional connectivity.”

Nawaz also welcomed the Afghan government’s call for dialogue, and its determination to resolve differences through political means. He recalled his recent meeting with President Ashraf Ghani during his first state visit to Pakistan. “I am convinced that we have made a historic new beginning in our bilateral relations.”

The prime minister said Pakistan and Afghanistan have initiated actions to deepen security cooperation, promote bilateral trade and streamline transit trade issues, besides building a stronger economic relationship with a new focus on investments, and enhanced regional economic cooperation.

“We have also agreed to fast-track the implementation of key trans-regional energy projects —particularly CASA-1000 and TAPI gas pipeline.”

The prime minister also presented a nine-point recommendation for consideration by the international partners. These include the need for sending a clear message of deeper engagement with Afghanistan, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and the dignity of its people. He also called for the need to address the urgent fiscal crisis and provide sustained financial assistance for building a secure and self-reliant Afghanistan.

Nawaz stressed development cooperation to meet the development priorities of the Afghan government besides strengthening efforts in the fight against narcotics production and trafficking.

He also urged the international community to support the new government’s desire to bring back five million Afghan refugees living abroad, by helping to create conducive conditions for their sustainable reintegration.

The premier also stressed the need to support projects for regional connectivity — such as the Peshawar-Kabul Motorway and the rail link. This he said would help in implementation of the vision of Afghanistan as a “land-bridge” by supporting communications and energy corridors. He also mentioned the recent casualties suffered by the Afghan brothers from the terrorist attacks in Paktika and Kabul and offered condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones.

Earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry promised US and allied support for Afghanistan as the country’s new leaders struggled to bring peace while foreign combat forces withdraw.

“We have a government in Kabul that merits our confidence,” Kerry told the London conference. “They can be confident of the support of the international community,” he said.

Ghani wants to implement a national “strategy of self-reliance”, including tackling corruption, improving security and governance plus boosting exports.

Kerry praised Ghani and Abdullah for putting aside their own political differences in favour of creating a united vision for Afghanistan’s development, following the presidency of Hamid Karzai, in whom Western confidence wore thin.

“We are confident that the policies outlined today will result in a more stable, prosperous Afghanistan. This is really an extraordinary moment. It’s a moment of transformation,” Kerry said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2014.


saeed | 9 years ago | Reply

@Humza: it was Indians who fought against Russians, it was Indians who created Taliban for "decades".

Citizen26 | 9 years ago | Reply

PM come back home and take actions against ISIS, they are in Multan. World will take good care of Afghanistan.

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