• Press Release

ISLAMABAD:  Trust deficit toward Pakistan was still an issue among a certain segment of the Afghan society, said former Ambassador Syed Abrar Hussain. He was delivering a talk at a session titled ‘Tales of Afghanistan’s Diplomacy and Engagement with the World and with Pakistan’.

The session was jointly organized by the Pak-Afghan Youth Forum (PAYF) and the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) under the former institute’s series titled ‘Stories We Live By’. Reflecting on the prevalent distrust among various segments of the Afghan society, Ambassador Abrar Hussain said that the governments and the people in both the countries had to realize that such a gap was equally detrimental for both Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said that both countries shared a rich history of strong socio-cultural ties and that the increased cross-border movement of people and goods in the past years, though criticized for wrongful reasons, was an important part of history and pointed towards a healthy level of engagement.

He elaborated the extensive economic ties encompassing trade, education, health and infrastructure development between the two countries in addition to the generous humanitarian assistance that Pakistan had extended towards Afghanistan in the hour of need as defining markers of the relationship between the two countries. Ambassador Abrar was of the opinion that the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan had reached a problematic turn due to multiple external forces, however, it was important for Pakistan to continue with its efforts to strengthen peace and stability in its neighborhood. In that, he added, the foremost priority apart from the ongoing aid on humanitarian and economic fronts, was to win back the hearts and loyalties of the current generation of Afghans, whose perception of Pakistan was seemingly eschewed due to narratives propagated with the intent to discredit Pakistan’s role and effort to sustain peace in Afghanistan.

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