The first round of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Bilateral Dialogue was held in Islamabad on June 7-8, 2015 under the umbrella theme of “Consolidating the Gains: Exploring Avenues and Methodologies to Pursue Joint Objectives”.
Regional Peace Institute (RPI) organized the Dialogue in collaboration with the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS). The event was supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF).
Mr. Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs inaugurated the Dialogue on June 7. There were two working sessions held on the sub-themes of “Political and Security Dynamics: Laying Sustainable Foundations” and “Fighting Terror: The Lynchpin of Bilateral Resolve”.
An open session was held on June 8 on the sub-theme of “The Heart of Asia Dialogue: Debating the Istanbul Process and the Expansion of Business, Trade and Cultural Connectivity between Pakistan and Afghanistan”. Honourable Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister for National Security and Foreign Affairs presided over the session and delivered the concluding remarks.
All the sessions were marked by a candid exchange of views resulting in mutual agreement to remain cognizant of differences and work towards finding viable and sustainable solutions.
It was mutually agreed to structure the dialogue process. To facilitate this, it was decided to constitute the following Working Groups which will submit their recommendations at the next round of the Bilateral Dialogue:
- Trade and Economic Cooperation
- Socio-Cultural Cooperation
- Security and Counter-Terrorism Measures
The Afghan delegation expressed appreciation for the Regional Peace Institute to have initiated the Bilateral Dialogue process and the Government of Pakistan for facilitating it.
It was also agreed to continue the dialogue process and to hold the next round in Afghanistan later this year.