Projects in which Pakistan has invested millions of dollars in Afghanistan

Projects in which Pakistan has invested millions of dollars in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD (APP): Ambassador of Pakistan in Afghanistan Syed Abrar Hussain said that Pakistan desired peace in Afghanistan as peace in the country would benefit Pakistan the most, after Afghanistan.

He said this in an interview to a private television channel aired on Sunday night in which he responded the statements of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani he had made in the same program on Saturday.

The ambassador said Pakistan and Afghanistan were two brotherly countries despite some misunderstandings. The bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan was above two billion dollars besides transit trade routes also contributing to enhance trade linkages.

He said Afghan government had publicly called for Pakistan's role in Afghan peace process; however, Pakistan could only act as facilitator for peace dialogue between Afghan Taliban and Afghan government.

He categorically ruled out the impression that Pakistan extended any support to Afghan Taliban; however he said owing to some historic background, the country had some influence over Afghan Taliban and desired to use the very influence to bring them to dialogue table.

However, he said if Pakistan succeeds to bring Taliban back to dialogue table, Afghanistan should not become a tool in the hands of the elements those scuttle the process.

Ambassador Hussain said objective of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group was also to carry forward the very peace process.

But the second round of peace dialogue was scuttled by some elements outside Pakistan by breaking the news of Mulla Omar's death.

To a question, he said for trust building between the two countries, the anti-Pakistan statements from official and unofficial circles in Afghanistan should stop.

He said Pak-Afghan ties should not be so fragile that could be affected by a single incident.

The ambassador said Pakistan was taking indiscriminate action against all militants and over 800 Intelligence based operations carried out by Pakistani forces were not only against Pakistani Taliban but the foreigners as well.

To a question, Abrar Hussain said Pakistan was spending millions of dollars on welfare projects in Afghanistan in education, health and infrastructure.

He said an engineering university has been established in Balkh, a school in Kabul, 200-bed hospital in Hilmand, kidney center in Jalalabad and a hospital in Lugar. Moreover, 3,000 Afghan students have been granted scholarships and around 7,000 Afghan students were studying in Pakistan besides 0.5 million children of Afghan refugees.