The Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser said that Pakistan and Afghanistan are closely linked on the foundation of Islamic brotherhood, sharing the same culture and close neighborhood. He further said that close cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan is imperative for regional prosperity and for the peace of entire world. He expressed these views while talking with Designated Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan Shukrullah Atif Mashal on Tuesday. The Speaker said that Pakistan is earnestly trying to support Afghanistan for durable peace and prosperity in Afghanistan as the peaceful and sustainable Afghanistan is pre-requisite for regional peace and prosperity. He also expressed his desire that both countries may make efforts to increase mutual trade and business. He further mentioned that Pakistan has been hosting more than three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan for last four decades. Asad Qaiser mentioned that parliamentary diplomacy could play an important role for eliminating the misconception between both nations and bring them closer. The parliamentarian cooperation is also essential to eradicate the menace of terrorism and extremism in both countries. He also mentioned that economic, political, and regional cooperation with Afghanistan will be beneficial for both nations. Designated Ambassador of Afghanistan in Pakistan Shukrullah Atif Mashal said that Afghanistan always values high to its close relation with Pakistan. He said that the way Pakistan is hosting the Afghan Refugees is commendable. He also appreciated Pakistan’s role to support the efforts regarding sustainable peace and development in the region. He also said that Afghanistan desired to enhance cooperation in economic, political, and trade spheres with Pakistan. Published in Daily Times, February 13th 2019.