Pakistan-Afghanistan unofficial dialogues kick off

Pakistan-Afghanistan unofficial dialogues kick off

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and Afghan members of the parliament, former officials, members of the civil society and media persons are holding dialogue in Islamabad to give their input as to how to bring the two countries closer.

The meeting is being held when the bilateral relations are at their lowest ebb following terrorist attacks in Pakistan last month which claimed more than 100 lives.

Pakistani security officials insist that those claiming responsibility for the attacks operate from the Afghan side of the border.

Independent groups Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) Islamabad and Kabul-based Women & Peace Studies Organisation (WPSO) are organising the “Pakistan-Afghanistan track 1.5 & II project Beyond Boundaries.”According to CRRS head Imtiaz Gul, the dialogue is aimed at developing an understanding of the identified bilateral issues to help detox narratives, improve public perceptions and mitigate mutual allegations and suspicions.The organisers opined that the members act as a bridge between the two governments to ensure the continuation of bilateral conversation and promote and foster people-to-people contacts between the two countries.The dialogue members are scheduled to hold meetings with senior Pakistani officials including Senate chairman Raza Rabbani, foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz and National Security Adviser Nasir Janjua over the next two days.

Some of the delegates will also speak to students at Quaid-e-Azam university and National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST).

Both sides have already held meetings in Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan, and Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan.

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