LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Saturday said South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries should join hands to make the region an abode of peace, progress and prosperity.
In his greeting message conveyed by Senator Muhammad Sarwar to Iftikhar Ali Malik for becoming senior vice president (SVP) dispatched here today, Imran Khan said the economy has to be the most important agenda for SAARC nations despite political challenges and compulsions. He emphasised that the implementation of the “noble goals” in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would be successful only when SAARC countries present a united front.
He said SAARC nations need to interact and cooperate collectively to address the challenges that their region is facing in achieving these ambitious goals. SAARC is a grouping of eight South Asian nations of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Maldives. He said that nowhere in the world are collective efforts more important than in South Asia which is home to about one-fourth of the world population. As such, the global success of the SDGs is heavily dependent on their successful implementation in the SAARC countries, Imran Khan underlined.
He said the SAARC nations should also be reactive and re-energise various fora created under the auspices of SAARC for information sharing and monitoring of various issues of common interest. He observed that this would facilitate informed decision making in the region. Quoting the adage ‘poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere’, he said his government in KPP has “sincerely chosen the path of removing poverty” by empowering the poor. He said PTI if voted to power will fully encourage SAARC investment in Pakistan and provide an unprecedented package of incentives to all foreign and local investors for greater economic integration in the region.
In a separate greeting message, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Parvez Khattak termed his appointment as SVP SAARC CCI as a big success for Pakistan. He also applauded the efforts and achievements of Iftikhar Ali Malik in regards to playing his constructive role for promoting trade activities in the region.
Parvez Khattak wished that under his dynamic leadership, SAARC CCI would strengthen the existing trade relationship besides promoting business to business activities among the member states.
SAARC CCI SVP Iftikhar Ali Malik expressed his gratitude and said he would appreciate the efforts of Imran Khan and Parvez Khattak for playing their positive role in spreading peace and prosperity in the region. He said the region has its own setbacks and stressed on the need of SAARC nations to come together to beat the challenges.