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ISLAMABAD, Oct 5 (APP): Pakistan on Wednesday announced its fresh pledge of $ 500 million for economic development projects in Afghanistan.

Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj
Aziz made the announcement while addressing the Conference on Afghanistan held in Brussels, Belgium, and underlined importance of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan for Pakistan The fresh pledge was in addition to $ 500 million existing package under which projects in infrastructure, education and health are nearing completion, Foreign Office said in a statement issued here on Wednesday.

Sartaj Aziz also announced that Pakistan has provided 3000 scholarships to Afghan students for higher education in
Pakistan and after completion of this programme Pakistan would provide another 3000 scholarships in the fields of medicine,engineering, banking and others to help in building instituions of Afghanistan.

The Brussels Conference is being held as a sequel to the
Tokyo Conference that took place in 2012 for affirming international community’s engagement with Afghanistan through economic and financial assistance for Afghanistan.

Sartaj Aziz emphasized that politically negotiated
settlement was the most viable option for bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan.

He welcomed the peace deal signed between Afghan Government and Hizb i Islami assuring Pakistan’s continued efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG).

“Our message to Taliban remained to shun violence
and to join the peace process,” he said.