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Experts call for dialogue between Pakistan, Afghanistan for strong ties

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ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a five-day-long workshop stressed the need for democratic values ​​in developing countries and called for dialogue in a bid to build trust and strong ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and the International Research Council for Religious Affairs (IRCRA) organised the workshop in the capital, aimed at improving relations and people-to-people connection between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Read more: Pakistan to provide Rs5b worth of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Sadiq Khan, Washington DC-based Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) president Dr Radwan A Masmoudi, former executive director Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) Zafrullah Khan, Chairman CII Dr Qibla Ayaz, Chairman IRCRA Muhammad Israr Madani,  Executive Director Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue (IRD) Dr Husnul Amin, Pak-Afghan Cooperation’s Ishaq Khattak, President Institute of Regional Studies Ambassador Nadeem Riyaz, President Cursor of Development and Education Pakistan Barrister Dilawar Khan, Former DG Shariah Academy Prof. Dr Muhammad Mushtaq, Secretary CII Prof Dr Ikram-ul-Haq Yasin, and senior journalists were key speakers at the workshop.

The speakers discussed Islamabad’s efforts for peace and prosperity in the region, including improving trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the role of Pakistan and neighbouring countries in the current humanitarian crisis, democratic values, and the role of social organizations.

Speakers at the workshop described peace in Afghanistan, key for the entire region. They said that a peaceful transfer of power in Afghanistan had always been an issue. However, the role of social organizations became more limited due to which the state was facing problems in public access, protection of rights, and coordination.

They discussed the phenomenon of fake news and stressed the counter negative propaganda campaign that had been aimed at worsening Pak-Afghan relations.

The participants from Afghanistan also appreciated Pakistan’s efforts and called for improvement in the visa process, promotion of regional trade, and increase in student scholarships.

Read more: Pakistan wants peace, stability in Afghanistan: FM Qureshi tells Taliban’s interim PM

Participants also urged forming cross-border platforms to media fraternity, academic circle and students of both countries to sit together and work out on ways to address issues in public diplomacy, lobbying, and media ventures.

The workshop’s participants also visited various think tanks and institutions in Islamabad.

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