Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has suggested that poverty alleviation should be the top agenda for all countries in the South Asian region.
“Pakistan places poverty alleviation on top of Saarc agenda and believes the aspirations of the South Asian people should be at the centre of the organisation’s processes,” the premier expressed these views while meeting a delegation of the cabinet secretaries of Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries at the PM House on Thursday.
“We consider Saarc as an important vehicle for regional cooperation and for achieving peace, progress and stability in the region,” he said. “With immense resources at their disposal, the countries have the potential to transform the quality of life of the people of South Asia.”
He added that South Asia with a market of around 1.7 billion consumers, immense human capital, unexploited natural resources and a predominantly younger generation could act as an engine of economic growth for the region as well as the world at large.
The prime minister said Pakistan was strategically located to play a vital role towards intra-regional and inter-regional connectivity, particularly developing rail and road links. “We attach great importance to civil service reforms with a focus on performance-based management to transform public-sector organisations into efficient engines of service delivery.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2015.