The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health, Information and Deputy Parliamentary Leader of PTI, Shaukat ali Yousafzai has said that Pakistan and Afghanistan being two Islamic brotherly countries are interconnected through Islamic and Cultural ties and we want a peaceful Afghanistan as a peaceful Afghanistan guaranteed a peaceful Pakistan. He further said that Afghanistan had a great importance in regard to development and economic strength of Pakistan. He said Afghanistan was the only way of access to Central Asia.
He expressed these views in a meeting with Afghan Consul General Syed Muhammad Ibrahim Khan at Peshawar on Wednesday. Cultural Attache of Afghan Consulate Mst. Parvin Malal was also present on the occasion. Afghan Consul General informed the minister about the problems of Afghan refugees settled in Pakistan. The Provincial Information Minister said that Pakistan in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular, despite weak economy and infrastructure accommodated 30 lakh Afghan refugees and helped them wholeheartedly. He assured to take all out steps for the redressal of grievances, problems of Afghan refugees and contact centre in this regard. He said they wanted honourable return of their Afghan brethren to their homeland and they would extend assistance in this regard. He said efforts would be made to release innocent Afghans, if any, detained in Pakistan.
Shaukat Yousafzai said collective efforts needed to rehabilitate confidence between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said they wanted to have friendly ties with all their neighbours including Afghanistan. He said there should be no foreign interference in any country so that the progress and prosperity of the people could be made possible. He said one per cent tax on Afghan transit trade had been enforced just to stop smuggling of food stuff from the province and regularize the trade. He said they wished that the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should not face scarcity of food stuff as they did in the past. He said to bring the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan closer, exchange of journalists and cultural delegations would be made. He said cultural exhibitions would also be arranged in Afghanistan and Pakistan.