ISLAMABAD, Dec 9 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal Wednesday said the regional connectivity and cooperation is vital for sustainable economic growth and prosperity in South Asian region.
“We have complete consensus on regional cooperation and to maintain peace and stability in region, he said while addressing the concluding session of eighth South Asia Economic Summit titled  “Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development in South Asia”
organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

A number of delegates across the South Asian countries participated in the summit.
He said the regional countries lack political will to strengthen regional cooperation and connectivity, therefore people to people contact is limited.

Ahsan Iqbal said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has shown strong commitment for ensuring regional connectivity as it is the key point of the government’s foreign policy. The Minister urged the regional countries to invest on the youth, who are consider the asset.

He said the government has taken a number of initiatives in this regard including Central Asia, South Asia electricity transmission project (CASA-1000), Turkeministan-Afghanistan-
Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) and China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The minister said there are serious barriers in terms of people mobility in the region and “we need to have liberal visa regime in order to enhance people to people contact in the region
to increase trade and business activities”.

He said Pakistan is committed to promote regional cooperation and connectivity. Pakistan is also giving highest priority to the regional projects including TAPI, CASA-1000 and CPEC, he added.