KABUL, Dec 5 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Sunday said a meaningful and dynamic economic cooperation, people to people contacts,cooperation in capacity building and political interaction can yield enormous benefits for the peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan.Addressing the alumni of Pakistani universities and professional colleges on the second day of his visit to Afghanistan, Gilani said the Afghan graduates of Pakistani educational institutions can make significant contributions to the promotion of bilateral relations for the benefit of both countries.
The Prime Minister said while addressing “Your experience and knowledge of both the countries can facilitate closer contacts between the public and private sector organizations, he said and added Pakistan’s only interest in Afghanistan was to have a stable, peaceful Afghanistan.
He assured of Pakistan’s continued commitment to do all we can to support and added that he brought message of friendship, brotherhood and solidarity form the people of Pakistan.
They stand by you today as they have always done in the past.
Gilani said that their experience in Pakistan and its educational institutions must have convinced them of the brotherly sentiments and warm fraternal feelings of Pakistanis towards them.
“We have immense respect for the great Afghan nation and we admire your resilience values and your genius.”
“Our relations are rooted not only in common history, shared religion, traditions and culture but also in common ancestry and close kinship, Gilani added that we are the members of the same family and our joys and sorrows are alike.”
The Prime Minister said “our shared destiny beckons us to our stand together and we are the masters of our own fate. No other two neighbouring countries on this earth share such a relationship”.
He said the two countries have been a source of strength for each other in difficult times.
The Prime Minister said that it was a matter of great pride for me that Afghans who lived and grew up in Pakistan are making important contributions to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development. He said depth of relationship and commitment to Afghanistan’s future can be ascertained by the fact that some 28,000 Afghans educated in Pakistan in the past three decades were serving in Afghanistan in the public and private sectors. Some 500,000 Afghan refugee children were attending schools in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Gilani said that over 6000 Afghans were currently receiving higher education in Pakistan and it has allocated 2,000 scholarships for Afghan students in Pakistani universities. He particularly urged more girls to avail this offer. He said both the countries were committed to enhance bilateral trade to $five billion by 2015 and added that Pakistan was facilitating Afghan transit trade through its ports as the new Pak-Aghan transit trade agreement would open new horizons for enhancing bilateral economic cooperation.
The Prime Minister said that a large number of leading Afghan businessmenhave started their business careers in Pakistan in the past three decades and there were opportunities to expand it in all areas – APP