Imran, Ghani agree to join hands to alleviate poverty - GulfToday

Imran, Ghani agree to join hands to alleviate poverty

Imran-Ghani

Imran Khan and Ashraf Ghani. File

Tariq Butt / NNI

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani made a telephone call to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO).

Imran and Ghani agreed to realise the true economic potential of the two countries for assured socio-economic development, alleviation of poverty, and welfare of the two peoples.

They also agreed to make efforts for availing the geographic locations of Afghanistan and Pakistan to enhance regional connectivity during a telephonic conversation on Sunday, the FO’s statement said.

The two leaders exchanged views on matters relating to peace, security and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region, it added.

Imran stated that the spirit of brotherhood defined Pakistan’s approach towards Afghanistan.

The prolonged Afghan conflict had damaged Afghanistan and adversely affected Pakistan over the past many decades. For the sake of the two peoples, the aim of the leadership should be to help build peace, promote economic progress, and advance connectivity for regional prosperity. The prime minister reiterated his vision for finding a peaceful solution in Afghanistan, fully owned and led by the Afghans themselves.

Imran underlined that Pakistan will spare no effort to advance the common objectives of building peace in Afghanistan and having a fruitful bilateral relationship between the two brotherly countries.

Imran reiterated his invitation to Ghani to visit Pakistan for a comprehensive exchange of views on all issues of mutual interest. Dates for the visit would be decided though

mutual consultations.

Earlier during the day, Imran laid the foundation stone of Al Qadir University for Sufism in Sohawa, Jhelum district of Punjab province.

“I had been thinking about creating this university for the past 23 years,” the premier said. “This university has been named after Abdul Qadir Jilani, who had linked science and spirituality. We consider spirituality a super science; it needs research, which will be held here.”

The launch ceremony was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, federal minister Fawad Chaudhry and other officials.

Taking a stab at previous governments, the premier said: “The ideology, the vision and the objective of Pakistan were long forgotten by our political leadership in recent past [...] it is sad that we deviated from our destined path but now we must get back on track. Institutions like Al Qadir University will serve as the first step towards doing that.”

Before the stone-laying ceremony, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari visited Sohawa to review arrangements for the foundation laying ceremony of the university.

“The best investment for the country at this point is in intellect & learning of its youth,” said Bukhari. “Al Qadir University is a vision for making next generation leaders well versed in Islamic foundations — that’s the kind of farsighted ideas Prime Minister Imran Khan and the First Lady have for the Pakistan of tomorrow.”

Bukhari said besides contemporary studies of religions with emphasis on Sufism, the university would also have focus on science and technology. “There are no universities from Gujrat to Rawalpindi, therefore, Sohawa has been selected as the location of the university to cater to educational needs of the area.”

In an unrelated development, around 58,000 local council representatives in Punjab have been sent packing after the governor signed the Punjab Local Government Bill 2019.

According to a government notification, the former local bodies system now stands abolished. Lists are being prepared for the posting of commissioners and deputy commissioners as administrators.

The Punjab government will conduct fresh local government elections within a year.

Until then, 27 districts of Punjab will have deputy commissioners working as administrators. Nine divisions will have commissioners performing these duties.

Under the new law, the new municipal system will consist of two categories which include municipal and mohalla (locality) councils in urban areas, and subdivision and village councils in rural areas.