Pak-Afghan relations to be strengthened further

Islamabad: Dr. Asim Hussain Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources has said that Afghanistan is an important strategic partner and the bilateral relation between the two countries need to be further strengthened. He was talking to H.E. Mohammad Mustafa Mastoor, Deputy Minister of Finance, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan who called on Dr. Asim Hussain here in Islamabad today along with H.E. Mir Ahmad Jawid Sadat Afghan Deputy Minister for Policy and Mines. Mr. Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhary Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources, and senior officers of the Ministry also attended the meeting.

Dr. Asim Hussain welcomed the Afghan dignitaries to Pakistan and emphasized that economic linkages were the key to strengthening of bilateral relations which are imperative for the development of both the countries.

Minister Petroleum and Natural Resources informed the Afghan delegation regarding positive discussions with India on TAPI Pipeline Project during his recent visit and proposed that Pakistan, Afghanistan and India should conduct joint meetings in future. Dr. Asim Hussain said that Pakistan was willing to explore the possibility of establishment of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) retail outlets in Afghanistan.

H.E. Mir Mohammad Mustafa Mastoor, Deputy Minister of Finance, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, apprised that the Government of Afghanistan is committed to the implementation of TAPI Pipeline Project and it would help in fulfilling regional energy demands.

Afghan delegation provided an update on the Security situation for TAPI Pipeline portion that will pass through Afghanistan. Afghan Deputy Minister for Finance informed that Afghan Government is planning to conduct Road Shows in major cities of Pakistan to promote investment opportunities in Afghanistan.

Both the sides agreed that Transit Fee for the TAPI Pipeline Project should be realistic and a detailed session would be held in order to move towards an understanding in this regard.

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