- Says Afghanistan would not allow its soil to be used against any country
PESHAWAR: Afghan Consul General in Peshawar Professor Muhammad Moen Marastial on Wednesday dispelled the apprehensions about Chabahar port agreement between Afghanistan, Iran and India, saying that the trilateral deal will not affect transit trade relations with Pakistan.
“Significance of the transit route via Karachi to Afghanistan will not be reduced by the use of Iran’s Chabahar port. The Karachi port is still beneficial for Afghanistan, which would have a huge impact on bolstering transit trade relations between the two neighbouring countries,” the diplomat said while talking to media at the press club here.
The Afghan diplomat said that his country would not allow its soil to be used against any country. He emphasised that the establishment of sustainable peace would be essential for the enhancement of bilateral trade and economic relations between the Pakistan and Afghanistan. “It is a need of the hour to ensure peace and security in the whole region,” he added.
Marastial said that the stability of Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan. “People from both sides should support the governments to bring stability and maintain peace in the region,” he added.
The Afghan consul general said, “Both Pakistan and Afghanistan have rendered sacrifices for the elimination of terrorism, and despite having the same culture and religion, people from both the countries lack trust in each other.”
He underscored that both the governments should take positive steps to restore the trust of the people.
The envoy went on to say that lawlessness has adversely affected people on both sides of the border. He stressed the need to take measures for removal of trust-deficit and bring harmony. He was of the view that the escalating political tensions would have negative impacts on trade and economic relations between the two neighbouring countries.
Flanked by the officials of the consulate, Marastial said that every country has set its own priorities and economic goals. Therefore, the Afghan government has right to strengthen its relations with other countries, he added.
He further stated that Pakistan and Afghanistan were bound with cordial relations due to their common language, culture and religion. He thanked the government of Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for the last several decades.
The Afghan official informed that more than 3million Afghan refugees were still residing in different parts of Pakistan. He expressed satisfaction over the registration process of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and added that Afghan government has undertaken measures for the resettlement and rehabilitation of the migrating refugees from Pakistan and other countries.
The envoy highlighted that the Afghans who completed their studies in Pakistan were playing an integral role in economic development of Afghanistan. He stressed need for the establishment of business to business contact to give a further boost to economic and trade relations between the two neighbouring countries.
He also proposed that special student and cultural delegation exchange programmes should be initiated. He hoped that the exchange of delegates between the two countries will help decrease differences amongst the people.
The diplomat said that he will make all-out efforts for the resolution of issues of Afghan refugees, besides giving a further boost to mutual trade, economic, and cultural relations between the two neighbouring countries. He also lauded the role of media in highlighting the issues of general masses and bringing them before the authorities concerned.