ISLAMABAD: Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Economic Affairs on Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the bilateral economic cooperation with Afghanistan.
According to a press release, the meeting was attended by Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Moeed W. Yusuf, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security and Strategic Policy Planning, Reza Baqir, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Lt Gen (r) Muzammil Hussain, Chairman WAPDA and other senior officials.
The Minster for Economic Affairs highlighted the importance of bilateral economic assistance for Afghanistan in context of the current situation. The Minister expressed that we are keen to support the people of Afghanistan to address their socioeconomic challenges.
It was further discussed that in order to save lives and livelihood of the Afghan people, immediate technical and financial support is required on humanitarian basis. The Minister apprised that Pakistan has already implemented 20 projects costing US $148.35 million in various sectors including education, health and infrastructure while nine other projects costing US $221.83 million are under execution in Afghanistan.
Pakistan also provides 3000 Allama Muhammad Iqbal Scholarships to Afghan students in various disciplines. Syed Fakhar Imam expressed that reports regarding a severe food crisis for over 14 million Afghan people are alarming. Expressing his concern over the situation, the Minister stressed the need of support and solidarity of the international community for the people of Afghanistan. Reza Baqir, presented various options to support Da Afghanistan Bank (Central Bank) for its smooth functioning; and to achieve price stability and help manage economic fluctuations.
Moeed W. Yusuf stated that a coordinated effort is need of the hour to avoid overlapping of resources. He apprised that on the directions of the Prime Minister, National Security Division has also started consultations with various stakeholders for workable policy options. The participants appreciated the efforts of Economic Affairs Division for arranging the meeting for meaningful consultation with all the relevant stakeholders.