KATHMANDU, NEPAL: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday called upon the South Asian countries to set aside their mutual conflicts and rather focus on fighting their common issues like poverty, diseases and illiteracy.
Addressing the 18th summit of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Prime Minister said the SAARC countries instead of fighting with each other should unitedly work towards eliminating the basic problems that were impacting the lives of their people.
The Prime Minister stressed the need to harness the potential of SAARC countries, which he said was home to nearly one quarter of the world population but had low social indicators.
He said the theme of the summit “Deeper Regional Integration for Peace
and Prosperity” was most relevant for the SAARC countries and urged them to reach out to each other to create win-win relationship and resolve common problems.
He stressed pursuing SAARC’s socio-economic agenda, expansion of development plan and focus on scientific and technological advancement as significant for the prosperity of the region. He also highlighted the importance of availability of electricity for completion of major development projects.
He emphasized the contribution of SAARC countries towards creating inter-cultural harmony and building people-to-people contacts. He stressed soft visa regime among the SAARC member states for a more integration to strengthen regional cooperation.
Nawaz Sharif said the recent monsoon floods had raised the importance of greater coordination and more cooperation among the SAARC states.
He expressed satisfaction that South Asia had undergone democratic transition with all the countries enjoying the status of a vibrant democracies.
The Prime Minister said the role of SAARC’s member states was important in enhancing regional connectivity, which he said would help increase the trade volume.
He urged upon the South Asian countries to invest in their youth by providing best facilities of education, health and employment.