DAVOS: Pakistan wants good ties with all countries in its region, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday in a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
“It is Pakistan’s ardent desire to promote peace and cooperation in South Asia. 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 told Sri Lankan Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Prime Minister Nawaz underscored security and stability as prerequisites for fighting poverty and promoting economic growth and development. “We consider Sri Lanka to be a key partner in this regard,” he said, adding that ties between Islamabad and Colombo have “grown from strength to strength over the last six decades.”
He also said that Pakistan attaches great importance to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) and is fully committed to its charter. “We believe Saarc cannot be replaced by Bimstec [Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation],” he added.
Premier Nawaz once again brought up the atrocities Indian forces are committing in Occupied Kashmir. He said India is escalating tensions along the Line of Control to distract the world from its grave human rights violations in the disputed region.
The Sri Lankan premier conveyed his best wishes to the people of Pakistan and called for enhancing trade and defence cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Nawaz also held a series of back-to-back meetings with the heads of various corporations at the WEF sidelines and urged them to expand their operations in Pakistan.
In a meeting with the CEO of Standard Chartered, he said Pakistan has made a remarkable economic turnaround. The CEO acknowledged Pakistan as an important partner for Standard Chartered and agreed with Premier Nawaz that the country’s economic profile had gone up under his leadership.
Speaking to CEO of VimpelCom, Prime Minister Nawaz said his government is pursuing a comprehensive reforms agenda in addition to successfully delivering on challenges of terrorism, economy and power shortages. The VimpelCom CEO said his company was planning to launch new products in Pakistan as the country has come to the forefront as the largest emerging market.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2017.
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