LAHORE: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Chamber of Commerce and Industry Senior Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik has welcomed the first speech of PTI’s Chairman Imran Khan after winning the general elections.
Talking to media here on Friday, he said that speech for nurturing cordial relations with neighboring countries including India, Afghanistan, and Iran hoped that Imran can play his constructive role to strengthen SAARC by bringing India and Pakistan close together which will be a harbinger of prosperity and peace in the region.
“Pakistan wants to establish good relations with India on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect,” adding he said the imminent government led by PTI would chalk out comprehensive and long-lasting strategies to nurture good relations with India, Iran and Afghanistan and come forward with a solid plan of integrating this region for boosting of trade to bring prosperity in the region. “South Asia is one of the least economically integrated regions of the world.
As a result, intra-regional trade between the SAARC countries is less than five per cent while intra-regional trade between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries is about 35 per cent and EU countries are about 60 per cent,” he added.
He said Imran Khan is a celebrity and have sizeable fans both in India and Afghanistan due to his cricket career and he should use his charismatic personality for bringing the people of the neighbor countries closer. Our region possesses enormous resilience and capacity to transform its challenges into opportunities. “We are convinced that South Asia has the vast potential to become a region of economic and social prosperity.
However, this can only be possible if we are able to resolve the disputes amicably through result oriented parlays that afflict our region. Prudence demands that for the sake of our future generations we move towards durable peace and prosperity which requires the resolution of regional disputes,” he added.
Malik said luckily PTI has a very good and innovative team consisting of experienced technocrats, economists, as well as seasoned and polished politicians and he, hoped that they would be succeeded to steer the country out from the quagmire of multiple economic issues.