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Pak-Afghan dialogue identifies education as key to progress | The Express Tribune


Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Senator Muhammad Talha Mahmood, emphasised the significance of trade, economic connectivity, and human rights for the socio-economic progress of Afghanistan during the recent Pak-Afghan Dialogue on Regional Stability and Geoeconomic Dynamics.

The two-day dialogue was a joint venture between the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) and its Afghan partner, Organisation for Economic Studies and Peace (OESP).

Senator Mahmood, in his keynote address, stressed the urgency of strengthening ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan, particularly in trade and economic sectors. He pointed out that mutual prosperity and regional stability could be achieved through collaboration in these areas.

The discussions were moderated by Mozammil Shinwari, the Executive Director of OESP. Shinwari drew attention to Afghanistan’s significant steps towards peace, transparency, and self-sustainability despite international sanctions, while noting improved trade relations and collaboration with regional partners.

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CRSS Executive Director Imtiaz Gul stressed that the humanitarian, educational, and political rights issues in Afghanistan could not be overlooked. He urged for collaborative, pragmatic solutions to address the education of girls and women’s right to work in Afghanistan.

Delegates from both countries shared their perspectives, with a former Afghan envoy underscoring the importance of inclusive governance.

Participants unanimously called for the reopening of girls’ schools in Afghanistan, acknowledging the vital role education plays in women’s empowerment and contribution to the economy and society. They highlighted the detrimental impact of school closures on Afghan women and emphasized the urgency of upholding their right to education.

The dialogue concluded with key recommendations aimed at fostering regional stability and geoeconomic dynamics, such as promoting peace and good governance, enhancing educational and healthcare facilities in border regions, and boosting bilateral trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The crucial role of women and girls in society was underscored, stressing the need for their educational, economic, and political empowerment.

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