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Media role stressed in promoting Af-Pak cooperation

Media role stressed in promoting Af-Pak cooperation

Mar 15, 2017 - 09:38

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Journalists have been urged to play a proactive role in promoting bilateral cooperation between estranged neighbours Pakistaninfo-icon and Afghanistaninfo-icon.

The call came during a roundtable dialogue -- Pakistan-Afghanistan relations: Transforming their relations through media -- organised by the Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Around 10 journalists from Afghanistan, currently in Pakistan under an exchange programme of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), attended the dialogue.

A huge constituency including the media dissented with the state’s narrative, civil societyinfo-icon activist Marvi Sirmed said. The Pakistani media has been highlighting the flaws in Islamabad’s policy, she added.

Khalid Aziz, a former secretary, agreed Kabulinfo-icon-Islamabad ties were looked at with suspicion. There was even talk of a proxy war between Pakistan and India in Afghanistan, he noted.

Senior journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai called for a debate on what would have happened if the Soviets had succeeded in Afghanistan. He underlined the need for cooperative bilateral relations.

For their part, Afghan journalists urged the media to explore why relations between the two countries continued to nosedive despite attempts to remove misperceptions.

They recalled President Ashraf Ghani, declining an invitation from India, visited Pakistan. But the situation did not change, they said, suggesting the media should promote commonalities.

mud

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