President Ashraf Ghani ‘ two-day visit to Pakistan was aimed at rebuilding ties between the two neighboring nations and moving away from a ‘relationship of suspicion’ to a relationship based on ‘mutual economic dependence’.
Addressing a gathering of businessmen from both countries in Islamabad, President Ghani called for mutual economic dependence for the purpose of achieving prosperity.
“Alone we can strive but together we can thrive,” said Ghani.
President Ghani regarded Afghanistan as the ‘land bridge’ between Pakistan and Central Asia and sough the same facility from Pakistan for trade with India.
He promised to increase bilateral trade to USD 5bn by 2017 and said that mutual cooperation may play a significant role in lifting thousands of people out of poverty.
On his part, Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Pakistan is ready to remove trade impediments and has agreed to lower tariffs to facilitate trade with Afghanistan.
He added that Pakistan has agreed to lower charges for ports and storage facilities.
While relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained sore throughout Karzai’s regime, hopes are on the rise for a successful outcome to result from Ghani’s visit.