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Saarc chamber seeks economic support for Afghanistan

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ISLAMABAD: The Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Saarc CCI) has called upon the international community to support Afghanistan economically and to help rebuild one of the world’s poorest states.

Talking to a delegation of senior lawyers led by Mian Jaffer Hussain, Saarc Chamber president Iftikhar Ali Malik said that it was equally essential for the international players and major donors to stay engaged to support the people of war-torn Afghanistan and restore it’s totally collapsed economy.

The Taliban have promised to improve Afghanistan’s economy but the new regime badly needs foreign aid.

Other members of the delegation included Mian Mahmood Ahmad Qazi, Junaid, Jawwad Tariq Nasim, Asif Nazir Awan, Jalil Ur Rehman, Shafique Butt, Mian Dawood, Anas Sheikh and Ayesha Shafique.

He said: “Afghanistan is tremendously dependent on foreign aid, which is around 10 times or even more than the Taliban has been able to obtain from its own finances.”

The aid flow in 2020 represented 42.9 per cent of Afghanistan’s $19.8 billion GDP. Afghanistan’s economy was shaped by fragility and aid dependence, he added.

Malik said that the Afghan economy has taken a hit during the Covid-19 pandemic and the new regime of Taliban has acknowledged that it cannot improve the situation without the foreign help. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has also spoken to many countries to work with them on economy, as Afghanistan needs their help, he added.

Peaceful political settlement of Afghanistan was the prerequisite for stability in the region, he said, adding that Pakistan attached great importance to Afghanistan as safety and security, as well as protection of the rights of all Afghans was critically important.

It is high time for all international players and donors to give peace a chance in Afghanistan and to help restore durable tranquility in the region, besides de-freezing their donations.

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The Groucho

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