Pakistan, Islamabad: Yesterday, minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan had launched $500 million worth of projects for Afghanistan’s education, health and infrastructure sectors. He said that 3,000 scholarships had been offered to Afghan students in different universities of Pakistan and 100 Afghan students would study in the Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Talking to an Afghan delegation comprising academicians, lawmakers, students and civil society members here, Mr Iqbal said that Islamabad had desired to forge friendly relations with all its neighbours, including Afghanistan. He said Pakistan and Afghanistan shared a common destiny and had to work together to promote peace and stability in the region. He underlined the need for greater exchanges of scholars, artists, businessmen and others to boost cooperation and friendly and brotherly relations between the two countries.
Minister said, “We have to start a new chapter in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations by focussing on social and economic dimensions of the friendship”, adding that two countries shared hundreds of years of history. He said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would play an important role in bringing people of the region closer besides improving economy of the entire region. He added, “One can choose its friends but not neighbours, who should live in harmony and closer cooperation. That is why we are looking forward to an all-encompassing relationship from people-to-people contacts to government-to-government relations”.