Saturday, February 24, 2018

Joint Statement between Pakistan and Afghanistan on strengthening the partnership

The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai visited Pakistan on 15-16 September 2010 at the invitation of President of Pakistan H.E. Asif Ali Zardari. The two leaders held in-depth consultations to strengthen the partnership through enhanced and deepening of bilateral cooperation.

The two leaders:

Affirming the historical, cultural and religious bonds of brotherhood and friendship that exist between the two countries and its peoples.

Reiterating firm resolve for a strong constructive Pakistan-Afghanistan partnership to address the common challenges and promote peace, security and development in the region and beyond.

Recalling their mutually shared vision of the bilateral partnership as enunciated in the Joint Declaration on next steps in Afghanistan-Pakistan Comprehensive Cooperation signed in Islamabad on 12 March 2010 and Joint Declaration on Directions of Bilateral Cooperation signed in Kabul on 6 January 2009.

Also recalling Kabul Declaration on Good Neighborly Relations of 22 December 2002 and successful outcomes of the Kabul Conference of 20 July 2010.

Reaffirming the mutual commitment to respect each other’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, non interference in each others’ internal affairs; consolidate good neighborly relations; and uphold the principles of the United Nations Charter as key principles underline the bilateral relations.

Recognizing that terrorism and extremism are common challenges and a common approach and close cooperation is required to effectively and comprehensively deal with these challenges.

Expressing satisfaction at the increasing understanding and harmony between the two countries on the need of a holistic approach to confront the challenges of terrorism and extremism.

Recognizing the immense potential for harness mutual benefits of the partnership through enhanced bilateral engagement and deepening interaction in diverse fields including security, development, transit, trade, economic and investment linkages, infrastructure and energy connectivity and people to people exchanges.

Emphasizing the need of a coordinated approach to implement the laid down roadmap to strengthen and deepen bilateral interaction.

Agreed on the following course of action to strengthen the partnership:

Strengthening institutional engagement

Develop strong institutional engagement between the two countries based on mutual interests.

Establish, promote and deepen regular high level bilateral dialogue between the relevant institutions in the areas of:

-Security and counter-terrorism,

-Economic cooperation, transit, trade and investment,

-Infra-structure development and connectivity

-Energy linkages

-Capacity Building.

Security Cooperation

Strengthen interaction among the security and counter-terrorism institutions for promoting effective cooperation.

Hold regular dialogue in the area of security and counter-terrorism cooperation through exchanges between the relevant institutions and greater information and intelligence sharing.

Explore long term institutional arrangements for capacity building and joint training programmes for security institutions.

Economic cooperation, transit, trade and investment

Develop a joint approach to realizing enormous potential of bilateral economic, transit, trade and investment cooperation.

Take measures within the respective policies to expand bilateral economic cooperation, transit, trade and investment linkages.

The Commerce Ministries to focus on joint efforts to take measures to achieve the goal of enhancing bilateral trade to more than $5 billion by 2015 through effective trade promotion and facilitation measures.

Welcome the conclusion of negotiations on Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) in July 2010 and to ensure its early signing and implementation for the benefit of the two countries’ economies and beyond. Both sides expressed their readiness for prompt implementation of APTTA.

Hold regular sessions of the bilateral economic commission on an annual basis to keep the momentum on promoting economic and commercial relations.

Expedite action on already agreed measures such as establishment of a Silk Route CEOs Forum, Pakistan-Afghanistan Reconstruction Consortium, Economic and Industrial Zones and a Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Investment Company.

Infra-structure development and connectivity

Focus on infrastructure development and rail-road connectivity to complement economic, transit, trade and investment linkages.

Develop a joint approach including a roadmap to promote infrastructure development between the two countries and connecting the infrastructure along side the two countries to facilitate movement of people, transit, trade and commercial activities.

Undertake the following projects on priority basis:

-Peshawar-Jalalabad rail link -Quetta-Kandahar rail link -Build modern facilities at Landi Kotal-Torkhem and Chaman-Spinboldak.

Energy Linkages

Develop a comprehensive strategy to promote energy sector cooperation and projects

Work out a long term plan to implement trans-Afghan energy transmission projects.

Capacity Building

Devise long term capacity building programmes for Afghans in different areas of social sector development.

Education: Develop a joint approach to effectively utilize the 2,000 scholarships for Afghan students in Pakistani institutions by 2012.

Workout a plan for grant of scholarships to Afghan students at Pakistani educational institutions for 2012-15.

Explore cooperation in promoting vocational training centres in Afghanistan in different fields.

Health:  Strengthen continued arrangements for provision of medical treatment facilities for Afghans at Pakistani hospitals and health centres.

Explore bilateral cooperation to strengthen Afghanistan’s public health infrastructure.

Agriculture: Draw out plans for training of Afghan agriculture officials and professionals at Pakistan’s agricultural research and development institutions in the coming years.

Explore establishing Agricultural research institutions in Afghanistan under bilateral cooperation as well as through possible third donor funding arrangements.

Develop regular dialogue on joint five-year and ten year food-security plans to cater the food needs of the peoples of the two countries.

To initiate comprehensive dialogue on environmental protection and mitigating impact of climate change. Semi

Agreed as on 15 Sept 2010 (10 pm)

Click here for original Statement (PDF)

Ambassador Tanin Briefs JCMB Countries on Preparations for Parliamentary Elections

H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin, Ambassador Permanent Representative to the United Nations, yesterday joined the Assistant Secretary General for Peace-keeping Operations, Mr. Atul Khare, in briefing members of the Joint Coordinating and Monitoring Board (JCMB) on preparations for Afghanistan’s up-coming parliamentary elections, which will take place on the 20th of September 2010.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Tanin noted that the successful holding of free, fair and transparent elections were among the top priorities of the Afghan government. In that regard, he asserted the preparations for the polls were well on track, with candidate and voter registration already concluded.

He said Afghan national security institutions – the Afghan national army, police and intelligence services – were working in close collaboration to ensure the elections are conducted in an atmosphere of security. Nevertheless, he asserted that the prevailing security situation in the country remained a challenge and that under such circumstances, “a perfect election process should not be expected.”

Ambassador Tanin, however, underscored that Afghanistan’s expectation was that the elections would see remarkable improvements in terms of “transparency and credibility,” and “mark a milestone in the consolidation of Afghanistan’s democracy.”

On his part Assistant Secretary General Khare said all ballot papers and relevant material had arrived in Afghanistan. He also stated of the total number of registered voters, 376,000 were new voters, who did not take part in Afghanistan’s first parliamentary elections of September 2005. Forty percent of the new-registered voters were women.

He also alluded to the assessment of the Afghan national security forces of the security situation in various provinces, which led to the decision to close 797 polling centers which – owing to insecurity – were “declared not fit to be open” on the day of elections. In that regard, he also underscored the need for a “realistic perception of the election process,” noting that incidents of irregularity should be expected. He also said that the final list of all polling stations which will open on the day of elections will be available on the 18h of August.

Nevertheless, the Assistant Secretary General noted that the Afghan government and the UN were fully committed to ensuring a successful election process. He also called on the international community to contribute in that effort by dispatching elections monitors.

37 Days Prior to Election Day: Statement on the Election Process

STATEMENT ON THE ELECTION PROCESS BY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL, STAFFAN DE MISTURA

12 August 2010 – The Wolesi Jirga elections are now only a little over one month away – and we can see the country’s attention focusing on this event. Campaigning of the significantly large number of candidates has become more active and I am particularly encouraged by the active campaigns of women candidates. We maintain complete neutrality in this process, but we are committed to helping the Afghans have the best possible elections, which they deserve.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) is continuing to operate according to its electoral timetable. The last of the sensitive materials (ballot papers) arrived in the country last week. Operationally and administratively the IEC is on track. United Nations support to the elections has been as we promised – effective but with a light footprint in deference to the growing capacity of Afghanistan’s electoral authorities.

I want to highlight some challenges ahead – the primary challenge being elections security which could be the real spoiler of the whole process. We have already seen widespread intimidation with regard to female candidates, the killing of three candidates and other violence directed against a number of other candidates. This is unacceptable and we call upon the Afghan security forces to be on heightened vigilance over the coming two months.

We all know that security challenges will be a significant obstacle and we must ensure that poor security in parts of the country is not used to manipulate the votes of the people.

I note that the IEC has received the assessment from the security institutions on the polling centre locations and that they are now conducting their own verification to ensure the final list is a realistic one. This will be completed on 15 August. We are in agreement with the IEC that it is of paramount importance, including for operational reasons, and for the credibility of the elections that they be in a position to make this public by 18 August. Making this list public one month in advance of the elections is essential for the transparency of the electoral process. It will also show a marked difference and progress compared with the same stage of last year’s Presidential elections.

I am also pleased to learn that the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has undertaken to recruit, train and deploy additional female body searchers to ensure the security of female polling stations. It is imperative now that no further time is lost in this regard.

I want to encourage election observation missions – both international and national. I also encourage candidates to register their own candidate and party agents – these agents can make a significant impact in observing the whole election process.

The Electoral Complaints Commission has suggested that the voter registration exercise might be extended. The IEC, however, has taken the position not to extend this process any further. We fully support the decision of the IEC and its continuing efforts to take difficult decisions aimed at mitigating fraud and other electoral irregularities.

My final message is to the voters themselves. These elections are your elections. Follow all the candidates’ campaigns and their political messages to ensure that you can make an informed vote on 18 September. Your vote is the final decision maker in this important process in determining your country’s future.

Strategic Communication and Spokespersons Unit

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)

Kabul, Afghanistan

Tel: +93 (0) 79 000 6121; +39 083 124 6121; +1 212 963 2668 ext 6121

http://unama.unmissions.org

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan