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Pakistan, Afghan MPs criticize intelligence agencies

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 1, IRNA -- Pakistani and Afghan lawmakers on Friday said that the intelligence agencies of the two countries are ‘pursuing their own individual interest’ whereas terrorism was a common enemy demanding collective action by the agencies of the two countries.

Parliamentarians of the two countries, who concluded a two-day dialogue in Islamabad, laid great emphasis on joint efforts to tackle the problem of terrorism, which has not only caused death and destruction in the region but has been the major impediment in the development of both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“They urged cooperation of each other’s Parliament to bring to the notice of their respective Governments' problems identified by the other side for immediate remedial action. This, they thought, would greatly help in bringing the two countries further closer to each other,” a joint statement, released at the conclusion of the meeting, said.

The two sides felt the need of establishing a Joint Commission, established already, to identify problems between them. The task of the Commission would be to find solutions to these problems which will help in cementing brotherly relations between the two neighbours.

The parliamentarians expressed concern on longer delays for clearance of goods under Afghan Transit Trade, which was causing huge financial loss.

They agreed on finding a solution to this long over-due problem for streamlining business relation between the two countries.

The lawmakers felt the need and importance of media in moulding public opinion. It can play a positive role in bridging the trust deficit that unfortunately still exists somewhat between the people of the two countries.

The two sides agreed to hold their next meeting in Kabul in May this year.

The parliamentarians discussed issues of importance that impact the relations between the two neighbouring Islamic countries.

A delegation of 20 Afghan Parliamentarians, belonging to the Senate and National Assembly of Afghanistan (Meshrano Jirga and Wolesi Jirga respectively) had a detailed dialogue with their Pakistani counterparts on issues of mutual interest including Terrorism, Afghan Transit Trade and the role of media in bringing the two countries closer to one another.

'Parliamentarians from two sides discussed terrorism, trade, narcotics and education in a candid interaction,' said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, co-chairman from Afghanistan, while addressing the press conference.

Terrorists have harmed both countries and a regional conference to counter terrorism must be held, he believed, to counter the scourge.

'Our Pakistani Parliamentary brothers and sisters agree that our interaction will pave the way for strengthening relations,' he said.

In a meeting of the Afghan Parliamentary delegation with the President Asif Ali Zardari, the delegates raised the issues of held containers under Afghan Transit trade, cross-border terrorism and greater Parliamentary interaction between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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