Pak-Afghan relations to see better days: Afghan ambassador

 
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LAHORE Sept 29 (TNS):  Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Omer Zakhilwal has said that better days were ahead in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations and the current misgivings, grievances and negativities were short-lived.

Talking to media persons at the close of 3000 HEC scholarships award ceremony to Afghan students at a local hotel here, he said the bilateral misunderstandings were sure to vanish, adding that one or two decades of misgivings was a short period of time in the lives of nations.

The Afghan ambassador said that things were moving in the right direction on the diplomatic front, adding that he was hopeful of better ties between the two countries. About the Pak-Afghan relations, he said the relations would take a natural shape, involving people-to-people contacts. He said that the people-to-people relations between the two nations could not be destroyed by anybody, stressing that the tribal, linguistic, religious common historic relationships in trade and commerce will re-emerge into a strong bond.

Omer Zakhilwal said that better bilateral relations were very important for both the countries and the students studying on Pakistani scholarships would serve as agents of change. The diplomat said that the relations between the two countries were multi-dimensional and these three thousand scholarship-holders would multiply into thousands more when they would serve Afghanistan in different capacities in near future.

He said the bonds these students had established in Pakistan during their stay here would help strengthen the ties between the brotherly countries. He said the experience and expertise they had got in Pakistan would help reconstruct Afghanistan and rebuild relations between the two counties.

To a question, he said that there was no better way of strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries than extending educational scholarships to Afghan students, adding that these students were the future politicians, diplomats and bureaucrats of Afghanistan and their Pakistani classfellows would enjoy the same status which would help bring the two nations closer.

Earlier, addressing the ceremony the Afghan ambassador said that both the nations had common heroes in Ahmad Shah Abdali and Mehmood Ghazanvi, adding that the great saint of Lahore Hazrat Ali Hajveri (Data Gunj Bakhsh) had his origins in Afghanistan. He said that the Poet of the East Allama Muhammad Iqbal enjoyed equal popularity in Afghanistan as a poet and thinker, adding that the scholarship programme was rightly named after Allama Muhammad Iqbal.

He said Pakistan and Afghanistan were the only two countries in the world which enjoyed such multi-dimensional relations and enjoyed such strong centuries old culture, heritage, geography, language, religion, trade and commercial ties.

Dr Omer said the ups and downs in the relations did not reflect the wishes of the people of the two countries, adding that the relationships were sure to improve in the coming days.

Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana, Advisor to Afghan HEC Amanullah Faqri, Pakistan Ambassador to Afghanistan Zahid Nasrullah Khan, Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, VCs of public and private universities from Pakistan and Afghainstan and a large number of Afghan students in Pakistan attended the ceremony.