PR No. 89British PM’s AF-Pak Rep Meets Ishaq Dar Islamabad: December 9, 2015

Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar received Mr. Owen Jenkins British Prime Minister’s Special Representative on AF-Pak affairs here Wednesday. Mr. Jenkins was accompanied by the British High Commissioner, Mr. Philip Barton and Joanna Reid, Head of DFID on the occasion.

During the meeting they expressed unanimity of views on efforts for peace and development in Afghanistan which would in turn help achieve stability and progress in the whole region. They also agreed that the Heart of Asia Conference would play a contributing role towards achieving this objective.

The visiting dignitary felicitated Minister Dar on the progress Pakistan and Afghanistan have achieved in the CASA-1000 energy project and said he wished for more of such projects of regional connectivity, being undertaken for benefit of the people of the region.

The Finance Minister shared with Mr. Jenkins about the important developments in the Pak-Afghanistan economic cooperation ever since the change of regime in Afghanistan. He apprised Mr. Jenkins about the headway both countries have achieved during the recently concluded Joint Economic Commission meeting, especially in the realm of trade facilitation. He told Mr. Jenkins about the projects that Pakistan has undertaken in Afghanistan as a goodwill gesture and gave him details of the Kabul-Jalalabad highway project which is progressing well. He said Pakistan aimed at promoting regional connectivity in collaboration with the brotherly Islamic country.

The Minister lauded the role of DFID for the Social safety sector in the country. He said that present Government has laid due focus on social safety sector and has been able to expand the network of income support programme to over 5 million beneficiaries while budgetary allocation for the programme has reached Rs. 102 billion in the current fiscal year.

Minister Dar also on this occasion briefed Mr. Owens about the stability achieved in economy through continued reforms and the government’s efforts for resolving the energy problem. He also dilated on Pakistan’s achievements in the operation Zarb e Azb. He said the government is now focusing on the rehabilitation of temporarily displaced persons.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance also attended the meeting.