Islamabad: A mutually beneficial relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan is “critical” to promote peace and stability in South Asia and the broader region, Pakistan’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Wednesday.
“Despite various challenges, the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has continued to grow through people to people contacts and trade for decades. A partnership cultivated on the basis of socio economic development is the way forward,” he said, addressing a ceremony here, organised to award scholarships to Afghan students.
He said Islamabad is fully committed to take necessary steps to ensure that Afghanistan comes out of the challenges and emerge on international stage as a progressive and peaceful nation.
“That is why we are looking forward to an all-encompassing relationship, from people-to-people contacts to government-to -government relations,” he said.
He said the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the field of education date back to late 1970s when Pakistan whole heartedly welcomed millions of Afghan refugees.
He said in the past four decades, hundreds of thousands of these refugee students have been receiving their education in Pakistani schools and Universities.
Aziz said that Pakistan hosts the largest number of Afghan students studying abroad and more than 48,000 Afghan graduates from Pakistani educational institutions are serving in various Afghan institutions in the public and private sectors.
“We are proud of this contribution to Afghanistan’s progress. These Afghans are an asset for Pakistan and our ambassadors in their home country,” he said.