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Dialogue Must for Lasting Peace in Afghanistan and the Region: Jamali

Islamabad: Deputy Chairman Senate Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali has said that dialogue is only viable solution to end stalemate in Afghanistan after a decade of war. “Peace should be given a chance” he added.

History of Afghanistan shows that you can attack Afghanistan but cannot conquer it and one must learn lesson from history before it’s too late. He was expressing these views while talking to German delegation of Hanns Seidel Foundation who met him and Senator Salim Saifullah Khan, Chairman of Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Relation at Parliament House here today.

Jamali said whenever Afghanistan was attacked by invaders which they call Kharjis (Alliens), the Afghans have united to fight the foreign occupants. He said maintaining and sustaining troops from far off is making the war in Afghanistan very costly with the standoff prevailing there.

While talking of US commitment in the region, he added that US will be focussing more on their elections and responsibility in Afghanistan will be passed on to Nato and EU which are already drained due to prolonged war. Public opinion around the world is getting averse to continuing the US war on terror.

Jamali reiterated, “now is the time for clear thinking and let the Afghan people decide their fate themselves”. Referring to the stalemate in Afghanistan and regional situation, Senator Salim Saifullah Khan said that foreign troops must leave Afghanistan to give peace a chance in the region.

He added only a decentralized government giving appropriate representation to all including Pashtuns can bring long lasting peace in Afghanistan and in the region.

Jamali said that Pakistan has suffered a lot due to unstable situation in Afghanistan and as frontline ally of US. Our economy has become feeble, we are facing troubled law and order situation, energy crisis is becoming worse and we have to cater for the needs of 180 million people. He told the delegation that the country has faced continuous natural disasters like flood in 2010 and again in 2011.

He elaborated that 9 million people have been affected due to recent floods in Sindh and Balochistan and are in dire need of help and assistance from International Community. One million tents are needed for their shelter and they need food items and clean drinking water and proper health care to avoid spread of water borne diseases.

Senator Salim Saifullah added that heavy spending on security and Defence by Pakistan has drained our resources and resulted in neglect of developmental sectors like education (less than 2.1% GDP) and health (1% of GDP) and thus resulting in 2.1% growth rate of economy.

This region needs peace for prosperity and economic uplift of its people and they should be left at their own to learn to live with one another with harmony and good future for their next generations.

Both Jamali and Salim Saifullah lauded Hanns Seidel Foundations’ support for Parliamentary exchanges as well as vocational training centres set by them. Jamali said that there is dire need to have more technical/vocational centres in various parts to give employment to people and to curb terrorism.

Delegates included Dr. Peter Witterauf, Chief Executive Officer of the Hanns Siedel Foundation and Mr. Hanns Buehler Desk Officer (South and East Asia) who are on short visit to Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Public Service Obligation to Chairman
Syed Hasnain Haider
Senate of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4564 534
Fax: +9251 920 5703
H.No.7, Cat-II, G-8/2,
Islamabad.
Web: www.senate.gov.pk
E-mail: senate@comsats.net.pk

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