PM calls for dispute-free South Asia

COLOMBO: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that dispute-free South Asia was his vision for peace and stability in the region.

“All regional countries should enhance their literacy rate and overcome diseases, poverty and malnutrition. We should also strengthen our bonds of trust for resolution of these problems,” he said while addressing a function on Pakistan-Sri Lanka relations at Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies in Colombo.

Talking about bilateral relations with Sri Lanka, the prime minister said both the countries shared common history, culture and traditions. He said the two countries also enjoyed commonality of views on international issues.

Nawaz Sharif reminded that Sri Lanka was the first country with which Pakistan entered into a free-trade agreement.

He called for greater parliamentary exchanges between the two countries to learn from each other’s experiences.

He said Pakistan desired to enhance its maritime relations with Sri Lanka and looked forward for increased engagements between the two armed forces. He said Pakistan would continue to provide training facilities to the security forces of Sri Lanka.

About relations with India, the prime minister said he remained committed to promoting peace and stability in the region. He said the foreign secretaries of the two countries were meeting within the next few days to determine the modalities of the dialogue process.

On Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said Pakistan had consistently supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and would continue to do so in future for the sake of regional peace.

Radio Pakistan