WELCOME REMARKS – Public Talk by the President of Afghanistan

200

Public Talk by the President of Afghanistan

Welcome Remarks of the Director General

27 June 2019

It is with a great sense of pleasure and pride that we welcome the honourable President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,  His Excellency Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, to the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad.

We are also honoured to have with us honorable Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi sahib. His support to the Institute is a pillar of strength.

A warm welcome to the delegation of the Honorable President and our worthy guests today.

Mr. President,

The Institute of Strategic Studies has been functioning since 1973. We carry out research work on issues of strategic importance for Pakistan and the region. We also act as convening forum to bring people together for an informed discourse. The third category of our work is to provide policy inputs for consideration by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other stakeholders.

The Institute is autonomous, with its own board of governors, but we work very closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which provides budget for the Institute.

Mr. President,

We are living in a world which is becoming ever-more complex. Unilateralism is ascendant. Mulitlateralism shrinking to margins. In the backdrop of this rapidly evolving geo politics, bilateralism or bilateral relations between any two nations have become ever more important.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are not just neighbours. They share deep bonds of history and culture. It depends on us how we build on this enormous asset of mutual goodwill and work together for a future of peace and prosperity for both our peoples.

In Pakistan today, there is a complete consensus that a peaceful, stable, prosperous Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan and the entire region. We know that our destinies are connected just like our past was.

In the bilateral context, as indeed in the multilateral context, narrative formation and advocacy of our shared interests is of immense importance.

The Institutes such as this one seek to provide the venue for a healthy constructive discourse to bring people and countries closer. We discuss challenges and try to identify policy solutions. We also work with several institutes around the world to discuss regional and global developments and look forward to having similar interaction with think tanks in Afghanistan.

We are, therefore, honoured that you have chosen this Institute to share your perspective with us. In today’s event, we have academics, civil society, former diplomats and analysts. I am confident that they all would benefit from your speech today.

May I now invite, our Foreign Minister, Honoroable Shah Mahmood Qureshi to kindly present his remarks.