ISLAMABAD - The government is considering a proposal that in future no Pakistan’s funded project in Afghanistan will be executed without prior signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.

Since 2001 Pakistan has completed 15 projects while 14 are under execution however the projects were executed without the signing of the MOU, official sources told The Nation. The proposal came in a meeting of the Committee for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Afghanistan (CRRF) held here.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar in his capacity as Deputy Chairman Planning Commission has chaired the 14th Meeting of the CRRF.

Additional Secretary Planning Ali Raza Bhutta, senior officials from relevant ministries and consultants of the projects were also present in the meeting. 

The minister directed to expedite the releases of funds to the projects in Afghanistan and the process should complete in next three months.

Absence of MOU makes the ownership questionable, therefore, it is necessary that in future projects will be initiated after signing bilateral or trilateral agreements.

During the meeting, a briefing was also given on the projects and initiatives being undertaken presently in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile a press release issued here stated that the Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said that Pakistan is committed to make meaningful contribution in the reconstruction and rehabilitation effort of Afghanistan by carrying out various development activities in the country. The Minister stated that development in Afghanistan is development for Pakistan.

The minister said that Pakistan is determined to play its role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and in this regard it has undertaken various initiatives and projects in diverse sectors to help in the development of its neighbour.

He underlined that the present government is committed to work in tandem with the Afghan Government to ensure timely completion of all ongoing projects.

‘Pakistan’s commitment for development of various projects in Afghanistan demonstrates Pakistan’s priority it attaches to bilateral relations with its neighbour’, emphasized the Minister.

During the meeting, it was apprised that Pakistan, being a neighbour and brother country of Afghanistan, had launched a relief package ‘Programme for Reconstruction & Rehabilitation of Afghanistan’ in 2001 with a pledge of grant of US $100 million which was gradually enhanced over the years to US $1000 Million in 2016.

It was informed that between 2002-2013, 14 projects were implemented in Afghanistan whereas presently 15 projects worth Rs32.45 billion are being executed in Afghanistan in a number of areas including construction of hospitals, hostel building, provision of scholarships to Afghan students and up-gradation of road between Torkham and Jalalabad.