ISLAMABAD, Aug 25 (APP): High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Pakistan, Vice Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama, Tuesday lauded the role of apex and allied bodies of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), working together to defuse the political rifts among the member countries and keeping the prime motive of regional integration alive.

He stated this while talking to a delegation comprising Iftikhar Ali Malik President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry,Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, VP SAARC Chamber Pakistan chapter Senator Haji Ghulam Ali, member executive committee Zubair Ahmad Ali Malik and acting Secretary General SAARC Chamber Zulfiqar Ali Butt, who called on High Commissioner.

He added that’s at this very low political tide on regional cooperation, where the 20th SAARC Summit is suspended for the fifth year, the SAARC allied bodies and sub-committees are playing an instrumental role in taking SAARC forward.

He felicitated Iftikhar Ali Malik for assuming the office of President SAARC Chamber, Senator Haji Ghulam Ali as VP and Zubair Malik as member executive committee and hoped that new leadership will deliver to the best of their abilities for help achieving the principal objectives of SAARC.

Speaking on the occasion Iftikhar Ali Malik said that apex and allied bodies of SAARC are the true representation of the people of the region and speak their mind and hearts.

He added that the role of chamber is instrumental in promoting regional economic integration in South Asia and SAARC Chamber is most vibrant and active body of SAARC.

He said that SAARC Chamber is actively engaged in business to business relationships, to voice the interest of private sector of region and serve to promote exchange of commercial, technical, industrial management and scientific information, education and know-how amongst its members in South Asia.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, urged the High Commissioner to play their constructive role in supporting the SAARC mechanism and it’s allied and apex institutions.

Senator Haji Ghulam Ali said that the government of Pakistan and it’s people are committed to SAARC mechanism and urged that it’s high time, Pakistan and Sri Lanka should take the advantage of Free Trade Agreement signed, to enhance bilateral trade.

The High Commissioner assured his full cooperation to SAARC Chamber to enhance interregional trade and wished Malik a successful tenure as President SAARC CCI.