Pak-Afghan Financial Dilemma

Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Ahmad Hakimi visited Pakistan with an agenda to settle the minor and complex issues of trade and transactions with President Ashraf Ghani’s vision for the regional development. Many experts believe that Pakistan is treating the Afghan nation in a subjugate manner. Afghanistan transactional and strategic importance has been ignored all through promoting fundamentalism and terrorism. The region has been kept deprive of enjoying friendly economic relations for last 35 years due to lack of coordination and Pakistan sympathy for terrorists. Afghan President Ghani sketched the vision of a peaceful region through transaction and trade policies. Afghan president’s regional perspective has been appreciated across the world.

Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Ahmad Hakimi has cleared during the meeting, “we want access to South Asia and Pakistan wants to Central Asia and we discussed how to gradually remove the bottlenecks.”

Hakimi complained that there were shortcomings in the implementation of the 48-point agenda agreed between Afghanistan and Pakistan when President Ashraf Ghani visited Islamabad.

The news conference had been delayed by an hour after the Afghan side reportedly raised last-minute objection over the language of a joint statement. This had followed from troubles over holding the JEC which had been postponed once and its duration was cut down from two days to one.

The Afghan finance minister added that giving each other access to their respective neighboring countries was ‘an important matter’.

Besides, harsh talks, few other encouraging talks were exchanged; both parties discussed a project of Pakistan importing 2,000 megawatts of electricity from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan. A road project for expanding the western route under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which would see Gwadar connects to Heart via Khuzdar.

Pakistan Finance Minister Dar said a road project for regional connectivity which is proposed from Heart to Khuzdar and Gwadar was also discussed. The project, if implemented would expand the western route under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan.

In this regard, Dar said both sides had agreed to establish various Joint Working Groups (JWGs) on energy, trade, commerce, development projects executed in Afghanistan, railway and road projects.

During the meeting between Nawaz and Hakimi, the issue of completing incomplete projects of Pakistan in Afghanistan also came under discussion. Nawaz vowed that both nations should try to increase bilateral trade volume to $5 billion by 2018. He further added, “Islamabad would extend all possible support to Kabul to accomplish tasks in infrastructure and energy sectors.”

Hakimi said early realization of development and power projects would prove to be a win-win situation for the region. He added that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani shares the PM’s vision of economic development in the region through regional connectivity.

The recommendations made by the Pakistani party as not different as Afghan side asking for. Afghanistan always believed in bilateral cooperation and regional connectivity, but the only problem is Pakistan’s sympathy for terrorists. Decade’s poverty, unemployment, poor law and order situations, religious fundamentalism, Pakistan madrassa culture, and low temperament and ignoring freedom of speech are something disturbing the regional security and stability and these can give birth to an event.

Pakistan should come with a broad perspective to leg up the regional cooperation and all types of diplomatic, economic and cultural ties. Afghanistan access to the Indian border will not affect Pakistan’s export if Pakistan sustains its products quality. Many people will be able to find the jobs. India rich cultural influence will automatically put a good impression on the mindsets of the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This cultural exchange will bring stability and prosperity to the people of the region.

 

The Afghan Tribune | Web Desk | Published: November 25, 2015, 08:16 PM

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