Pakistan’s progress linked to Afghan uplift: Bakhtiar

15 projects worth Rs32b being executed by Islamabad for reconstruction of its neighbour

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Staff Report

ISLAMABAD

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has said that Pakistan is committed to make meaningful contribution in the reconstruction and rehabilitation effort of Afghanistan by carrying out various development activities in the country.

The minister in the capacity of planning commission deputy chairperson chaired the 14th meeting of the committee for reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan at Islamabad on Tuesday. Bakhtiar stated that development in Afghanistan is development for Pakistan.

Additional Secretary Planning Ali Raza Bhutta, senior officials from relevant ministries and consultants of the projects were also present in the meeting.

The minister said that Pakistan was determined to play its role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and in this regard it has undertaken various initiatives and projects in diverse sectors to help in the development of its neighbour.

He underlined that the present government was committed to work in tandem with the Afghan government to ensure timely completion of all ongoing projects. ‘Pakistan’s commitment for development of various projects in Afghanistan demonstrates Pakistan’s priority it attaches to bilateral relations with its neighbour’, emphasised the minister.

During the meeting, it was apprised that Pakistan, being a neighbour and brother country of Afghanistan had launched a relief package ‘Programme for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Afghanistan’ in 2001 with a pledge of grant of $100 million which was gradually enhanced over the years to $1 billion in 2016.

It was informed that between 2002 and 2013-14 projects were implemented in Afghanistan whereas 15 projects worth Rs32.45 billion were being executed in Afghanistan in a number of areas including construction of hospitals, hostel building, provision of scholarships to Afghan students and up-gradation of road between Torkham and Jalalabad.

During the meeting, a briefing was also given on the projects and initiatives being undertaken presently in Afghanistan.