ISLAMABAD: Emphasising the need for bringing about a permanent peace in Afghanistan to attain regional stability, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday called for foiling Indian propaganda by presenting facts and exposing its nefarious designs before the international community.
“There is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan; it should be resolved through negotiated political settlement,” the prime minister said during a meeting with Afghan Minister for Industry and Commerce Nisar Ahmed Faizi Ghoryani, who called on him at the Prime Minister House.
Mr Khan stressed the need for all sides in Afghanistan to take steps to reduce violence, leading to ceasefire.
Highlighting the close fraternal ties between the two countries, the prime minister reiterated Pakistan’s consistent support to peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“Peace in Afghanistan would be beneficial for the entire region by enhancing regional connectivity and providing new opportunities for economic cooperation,” he said.
Calls for countering, exposing Indian propaganda; seeks action against hoarders, adulterators
Talking about bilateral trade between the two countries, the prime minister said Pakistan and Afghanistan had untapped economic synergies and complementarities, which could be best realised through cooperation in the economic and trade spheres.
He mentioned the Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar trans-Afghan railway line project, and reiterated Pakistan’s support to Uzbekistan’s efforts to secure financing for the project.
The Afghan commerce minister conveyed the greetings of President Ashraf Ghani and highlighted the progress made on matters related to transit and bilateral trade.
He said the Afghan president appreciated the positive role played by Pakistan in facilitating the Afghan peace process, and affirmed his country’s desire to enhance trade and economic ties with its neighbour.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood also attended the meeting.
The Afghan delegation is on a five-day visit to Pakistan (Dec 27 to 31) for the 8th meeting of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA).
In a separate meeting, Prime Minister Khan said the baseless and concocted Indian campaign should be countered with facts and the real face of India should be exposed before the international community and public.
He said Indian media was trying to divert the world’s attention from New Delhi’s actions in the Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), grave human rights violations and threats to regional peace by implementing Hindu fascist agenda and through negative and baseless propaganda against Pakistan.
The prime minister was presiding over a meeting to review the negative propaganda and disinformation campaign, including hybrid warfare, launched by the Indian media against Pakistan, PM Office’s media wing said in a press release.
During the meeting, the prime minister observed that the objective of such nefarious propaganda was to create anarchy in the country.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Information Minister Shibli Faraz, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Communication Minister Murad Saeed, PM’s Special Assistant Dr Moeed Yousaf as well as Focal Person on Digital Media Dr Arsalan Khalid.
The prime minister directed for effective measures to foil the negative Indian media’s propaganda and creation of public awareness and expressed the hope that Pakistani media would play its role in this regard.
Action against hoarders
In another meeting held to review prices and availability of consumer items in the market, the prime minister ordered stern action against those involved in hoarding, adulteration and increasing prices on their own.
“No one will be allowed to play with lives of people and stern action should be taken against those involved in adulteration, hoarding and artificial price hike,” he said.
PM Khan claimed that inflation rate remained quite low in the current fiscal year compared to last year.
“Due to the government’s effective steps, inflation remained 4.4 per cent lower this year compared to last year and 0.9pc less in the current month against last month,” he added.
The prime minister was informed that the prices of wheat flour, sugar, chicken, potatoes and onion had reduced.
He directed the relevant authorities to keep an eye on supply and demand to ensure availability of consumer items at reasonable rates.
Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2020