Members of the Senate Defence Committee delegation led by Senator Mushahid Hussain pictured with Afghan president Karzai here on Wednesday. The delegation includes representatives of major political parties, including Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Afrasiab Khattak, Jahangir Badr, Haji Adeel, Sehr Kamran and Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail. — Photo by INP
ISLAMABAD: The first-ever dialogue between members of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production of Pakistan and the Defence, Internal Security and Local Administration Committee of Meshrano Jirga of Afghan Parliament concluded in Kabul on Wednesday.
The Pakistani side was led by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production, and the Afghan side by Mohammad Dawood Assas, Acting Chairman of the Internal Security and Local Administration Committee of Meshrano Jirga of Afghan Parliament, said a message received here from Kabul. After deliberations for two days, parliamentarians of the two countries singed a joint declaration which said:
“The two-day dialogue focused on issues including security and the defence cooperation between the two countries; existing and emerging challenges in Pak-Afghan relations; cross-border terrorism, narcotics smuggling; border management, challenges of 2014 Nato withdrawal and Afghanistan peace process and institutionalising Pak-Afghan Defence Parliamentary Dialogue.
“Parliamentarians from both sides agreed to enhance the defence cooperation between the two countries while developing bilateral cooperation between the armed forces and security agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan. They agreed that in the best interest of people of both countries’ people, the two brother nations should move forward with a joint approach on important national and regional issues, and should have a joint strategy on security issues affecting both the countries. It was stressed that by connecting with each other and, with the region and outside world, full economic potential of this area and the people can be actualised.
“MPs at the defence committees’ dialogue agreed that if Pakistan and Afghanistan join hands together, the two armed forces can manage their respective internal security problems in a more reasonable and effective way. They stressed that the security establishments of Pakistan and Afghanistan should identify and isolate the common threat. It was stressed that there is a need to keep open all the channels of communication of the two countries.
“MPs agreed that after withdrawal of US and Isaf forces from Afghanistan in 2014, there may be possibility of a sense of vacuum, which can only be filled if the civil society in Afghanistan and Pakistan is given a chance to flourish while strengthening the state and the democracy in both countries.
“It was stressed that both the countries should look for ways and means to establish better communications between the younger generations of the two countries in all fields. It was also agreed that both countries should also cooperate with each other to ensure protection of women and human rights in their respective countries.
“In order to institutionalise the dialogues between the defence committees of the two countries, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed at the dialogue.”
“Co-chaired by Senator Sayed Farrukh Shah Jenab, Secretary of the Meshrano Jirga and Senator Haji Mohammed Daud Assas, Acting Chairman, Defence, Internal Security and Local Administration Commission of Meshrano Jirga, Members of the Afghan Parliament, who joined the dialogue, included Senator Gulali Akbari, Secretary Defence, Internal Security and Local Administration Commission of Meshrano Jirga, Senator Abdul Ahad Sultanzoy, Member, Defence, Internal Security and Local Administration Commission, Senator Saliha Mehrzad, Member, Defence, Internal Security and Local Administration Commission and Senator H. Mohammed Amin Safi, Member, Defence, Internal Security and Local Administration Commission, Meshrano Jirga.
“There was also a large participation from the International Affairs Commission of Meshrano Jirga. The notable speakers from the International Commission Affairs were Senator Arif Ullah Pashtoon, Chairman, Member, International Affairs Commission, Senator Nisar Ahmed Haress, Member, International Affairs Commission, Meshrano Jirga, Senator Dr Hazrat Shah Nooristani, Member, International Affairs Commission, Senator Mohammadin Humdard, Member, International Affairs Commission, Senator Hafiz Abdul Qayyum, Member, International Affairs Commission and Senator Usman Rehmani, Member, International Affairs Commission.
“The Pakistan delegation was led by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman, Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production of Pakistan. MPs from Pakistan, who participated in the dialogue, included Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, former Prime Minister of Pakistan and member Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production, Senator Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate of Pakistan, Senator Sehar Kamran, Member, Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production. Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Convener, Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group, Senate of Pakistan & Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights, Senator Begum Najma Hameed, Member Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control, Senator Dr Muhammad Jahangir Badr, Member, Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, Chairman, Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, Senator Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail, Member, Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani, MNA; Chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology and former member of the Senate Defence Committee.”—APP