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Stalled projects in Afghanistan: Govt asked to release money for Pakistan-funded projects

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kabul has asked the government to immediately provide the required money for early completion of Pakistan-funded development projects in Afghanistan, which have already missed their completion deadlines.

Syed Abrar Hussain – in a letter dated April 11, 2014 to Planning and Development Secretary Hasan Nawaz Tarar – said that Pakistan has played an active role in Afghanistan’s development and reconstruction through various projects in health, education and infrastructure.
However, he lamented that some projects have remained incomplete mainly for want of funds. “It is against the spirit of our development assistance to Afghanistan to keep a project incomplete and pending for years and years,” he added.

Hussain noted that Afghanistan is passing through a democratic transition and a new government would be installed in a couple of months.

“It will be immense help if we may complete the projects within next few months and our prime minister may visit [Afghanistan] to inaugurate them jointly with the new Afghan president,” he said.

He also recalled that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, during his recent visit to Jalalabad and Mazzar-e-Sharif, also promised an early completion of these projects.

These projects include Torkham-Jalalabad Additional Carriageway, Rehman Baba School Hostel, Jinnah Hospital, Amanullah Laghari Hospital, Nishtar Kidney Centre and the continuing project of scholarships to Afghan students.

These projects – started by the government of Pakistan after 2001 under the executive/financial jurisdiction of Planning Commission of Pakistan – have been facing immense delay due to non-availability of funds since their start but work on them has stopped since August 2013 due bureaucratic lethargy.

“In my meetings with various Afghan leaders since my arrival here last month, I have been asked time and again to pursue these projects,” said the ambassador, and adding that all the concerned must be asked to facilitate completion of these projects on a priority basis.

Here it must be noted that in a letter to Pakistani ambassador, Governor of Afghanistan’s Logar Province Niaz Muhammad Amiree has also requested to complete work on a hospital project.

“We desperately need this area for proper delivery of health services while the construction work is stopped and we request you to stress on the implementers of project to complete the remaining work,” the governor stated.

In the past, the construction work on Naukh Logar Hospital had remained uneven due to financial hick-ups. But since August 2013, the project has faced severe funds blockage and is stopped after 83% completion.

According to sources, work on Torkham-Jalalabad Road has been stopped after 60% completion; while Jinnah Hospital in Kabul has not received any fund since August, 2013.

Rahman Baba Hostel Building in Kabul – 97% construction is complete – has also been not supplied any fund since August 2013.

Sources said the Pakistani Embassy has time and again asked the government to provide funds to complete the projects at the earliest possible time, fearing after withdrawal of NATO forces, the security situation in Afghanistan can also become less conducive for foreign construction workers.

Commenting on the issue, spokesperson for the Planning Commission told The Express Tribune that the commission had not stopped the funds for these projects.
“The issue is not of releasing funds, but we want to review the progress by the construction companies and for which a mechanism has been developed. Hopefully, the issue will be resolved within days,” he added.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/700825/...o-release-money-for-pakistan-funded-projects/
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The Government of Pakistan handed over the newly constructed building of Allama Iqbal Faculty of Arts to the Kabul University at an impressive ceremony held at the Kabul University campus.

The mega project of the university has been constructed by National Logistics Cell (NLC) under Pakistan’s bilateral assistance programme for Afghanistan.

http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/556397_459693470742036_41643417_n.jpg

(someone please post the above image)
 

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I am delighted to visit Kabul and once again meet my very dear friends and brothers, His Excellency President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.

I am gratified at the warm-hearted reception and generous hospitality that is so characteristic of the Afghan people.

It is always a pleasure to be in Afghanistan and among my Afghan brethren. Coming to Afghanistan is like coming to my second home.

I have brought with me the most cordial greetings of the people of Pakistan for their Afghan brethren.

Afghanistan has a special place in our hearts. There are no other two countries that have so much in common. We are friends. We are brothers. We have stood shoulder to shoulder through every trial and tribulation.

The fraternal ties between our two brotherly countries transcend the boundaries of time and space; reinforced by our common faith and cultural affinities.

Today, we had wide-ranging consultations on issues relating to the common challenges we face and the significant opportunities before us.

We agreed that peace and stability in the region would remain elusive until the menace of terrorism afflicting the region is comprehensively addressed.

I am confident that we will succeed in rooting-out this menace through our firm determination and by adopting a comprehensive and coordinated strategy.

Pakistan has the highest stake in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. We stand in strong solidarity with Afghanistan. I assure you that the enemies of Afghanistan cannot be friends of Pakistan.

We both recognized that an enduring peace in Afghanistan will be a distant dream, without an inclusive intra-Afghan reconciliation.

I reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process and assured the President of making all possible efforts in this regard.

We strongly condemn increase in violence and Operation Azm offensive by Afghan Taliban.

Continuation of such offensive and attacks will be construed as terrorist acts and we condemn such attacks in strongest terms.

All sanctuaries, when found, will be eliminated by direct action, and will be monitored by the existing mechanism.

Any effort by any militant or group to destabilize Afghanistan will be dealt with severely and such elements will be outlawed and hunted down.

In case of terrorist activity, both Pakistan and Afghanistan retain the right of counter actions in conjunction.

Capacity building of Afghan police will be done as already offered including training.

Coordinated operations will be planned and conducted on mutually agreed basis to target militant hideouts along the border.

We agreed that our bilateral relationship will continue to be guided by the following three principles:

i. We will strictly adhere to the policy of non-interference;
ii. We will not allow our respective territories to be used against the other; and
iii. Afghanistan’s enemies will be treated as Pakistan’s enemies and Pakistan’s enemies will be treated as Afghanistan’s enemies.

We discussed ways of realizing the full potential of our well endowed reservoir of human and material resources, including through expanding trade, increasing investments, improving infrastructure, building road and rail links, and enhancing energy collaboration.

I stressed the need for fast-tracking progress on trans-regional energy projects to advance the goal of greater regional integration.

I underlined Pakistan’s resolve to further deepen our defence and security partnership with Afghanistan, including through enhanced cooperation along the border and human resource development.

I assured the President of Pakistan’s continued engagement with regional and international processes in support of Afghanistan. As co-chair of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process during 2015, we would steer the process in line with the Afghan priorities and aspirations.

I conclude by reaffirming my commitment to continue to work with my brother President Ashraf Ghani, for prosperity and development of our two peoples and in advancing our shared objectives of peace and stability in the region.

Pak-Afghan Dosti Painda Bad.
 
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