Afghanistan’s stability imperative for stronger Asia: Steffen

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By Shabbir Hussain

ISLAMABAD, July 06 (Diplomatic Star): Resident Representative of Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Dr. Steffen Kudella on Tuesday said that the dream of establishing sustainable stability in South Asia is directly linked with both Pakistan and Afghanistan’s stability.

He said that the today’s roundtable discussion shall mark the start of more activities on regional dialogue with the experts of both countries’ stakeholders with a focus to find out ways and solutions for better connectivity, trade and other modes of mutual business amongst Asian states.

Dr. Steffen Kudella said ” We want to strengthen the regional stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan through mutual understanding and cooperation.”

Addressing the panel discussion jointly organized by the HSF Pakistan and NDF at the Area Study Center of the University of Peshawar, Dr Steffen said that today the people of Afghanistan are facing multiple problems which can not be tackled without effective democratic government and through its actions of good governance.

Dr. Steffen Kudella said that collective efforts were required to address Afghanistan and its challenges for peace and development, besides creating awareness among the masses about the importance of strong democratic culture in the country and its benefits for social uplifts.

Since decades, he said that the Pakistan-Afghanistan region has been challenged by instability and fragility. These challenges are not isolated events, but connected with each
other and also with other events worldwide.

Informing about the HSF work and efforts in Pakistan and South Asia, Dr. Steffen Kudella said that HSF a German political foundation and contributing a lot to bring change in several areas as the agent of change.

Following are the main section where HSF playing vital role : ” In the service of democracy, Peace and development. We stand and strive for a comprehensive approach in the field of development cooperation. Our democratic mandate is: to promote peace through better understanding, cooperation, and mutually beneficial development.”

From an international perspective, he said  ” German political foundations, like HSF, are
unique: they are not owned or funded by the German government’s executive
branch. But they are independent non-profit organizations. At the same time, the
foundations work by order of the German federal parliament and they receive their
funding from there.”

Appreciating the role of its partner NDF, Steffen said HSF’s partnership with NDF is more than two years old and I am happy to see that this partnership continues to grow.

HSF and NDF already offer numerous scholarships for registered Afghan refugee students in Pakistan. Our joint scholarship program is called Hanns Seidel Scholarship Program – HSSP, and you may find more information on it on our web page.

He said ” we believe that Afghans in Pakistan are agents of positive change in Pakistan and
Afghanistan: they can contribute substantially to the development and rebuilding
of their home country.