RAWALPINDI: A 15-member Afg­han media delegation visited the GHQ and met Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday.

Speaking on the occasion, the army chief said the media could act as a bridge to create an environment conducive to promoting cultural, social and people-to-people engagement between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

An Inter-Services Public Relations press release quoted Gen Bajwa as saying that it was a responsibility of the media and people to identify and defeat the spoilers of peace.

“Peace in Afghanistan is Pakistan’s earnest desire because peace in the two countries is interlinked. Spoilers will not be allowed to derail peace process,” he added.

Minister says economic future of region depends on stable Afghanistan

Referring to Pakistan’s comprehensive border management regime, the COAS said border security was in the best interest of the two countries.

Alluding to benefits of regional connectivity for the two countries, he highlighted the importance of restoration of peace in Afghanistan for sustainable development of the region.

Appreciating the Pak-Afghan Youth Forum’s initiative of organising journalists’ visit, the army chief hoped for more frequent exchange of visits in future.

“Pak-Afghan youth is the hope for future peace and progress of the region,” he said.

The Afghan journalists thanked the COAS for the opportunity for candid interaction and appreciated Pakistan’s sincerity and efforts for Afghan people, including hosting of refugees and facilitative role in the Afghan peace process.

Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said the Pakistani leadership has a clear policy about Afghanistan as it wants restoration of peace and stability in the war-torn country, adds APP.

Addressing a function organised by the Pak- Afghan Youth Forum in Islamabad, he categorically said that Islamabad was not supporting or strengthening any faction in Afghanistan.

Instead, he said, Pakistan was trying to create an environment in which all warring factions of Afghanistan could sit together and form a consensus government in Kabul.

This, he added, was the only option to form a stable government and promote a peaceful society in Afghanistan.

The minister said that at present there was no group in Afghanistan which could rule the entire country.

“We have been striving for strong and stable future in Afghanistan as we believe that a strong economic future of the entire region depends on a stable and strong Afghanistan and our efforts are directed towards that direction,” he said.

The minister said that future of Pakistan’s economy revolved around a strong and stable Afghanistan as Islamabad wanted to build strong communication links with Central Asia and for that purpose Prime Minister Imran Khan had recently visited Uzbekistan.

He said that Pakistan had signed a rail track agreement with Uzbekistan which would run between Peshawar and Tashkent via Mazar Sharif.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021

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