(UDHAYAM, DAVOS) – Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said Pakistan wishes to see South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) a vibrant regional organization.
In a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe on the sidelines of World Economic Forum, the Prime Minister said Pakistan and Sri Lanka could collaborate for the achievement of objectives of SAARC, Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan attached great importance to SAARC and was fully committed to the principles and objectives of the SAARC Charter.
He mentioned that Pakistan believed that SAARC could not be replaced by BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation).
Sharif said Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with Sri Lanka, which are most cordial and friendly, and have grown from strength to strength over the last six decades.
He said it was Pakistan’s ardent desire to promote peace and cooperation in South Asia.
He termed security and stability as pre requisites for fighting poverty and promoting economic growth and development.
Nawaz Sharif reiterated that Pakistan considered Sri Lanka to be a key partner in this regard.
“It is our desire to promote good relations with the countries of our region, so that our people may benefit from the fruits of regional integration,” he said.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan desired to resolve all outstanding issues with India, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, through comprehensive dialogue.
He apprised the Sri Lankan Prime Minister that Indian forces were perpetrating atrocities in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir on innocent Kashmiri people, who were demanding their right to self-determination.
He said Indian forces had resorted to escalating tension on the Line of Control (LoC) only to distract the world attention away from their grave human rights violations in the valley.
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister conveyed best wishes from the people of his country to the people of Pakistan.
He expressed desire for more cooperation with Pakistan in trade and defence and said the two countries needed to enhance trade relations as well.