Pakistan fully committed to work with Saarc members to counter terrorism, corruption, organised crime: PM

ISLAMABAD, Aug 4 (APP): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Thursday said Pakistan was fully committed to jointly work with the SAARC member states in fighting terrorism, corruption and organized crimes.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 7th South Asian Association for Regional Coopertion (SAARC) Interior and Home Ministers’ Conference here, the Prime Minister said this vision would compliment the agenda of the 19th SAARC Summit to be hosted by Pakistan in November this year.

The Prime Minister shared with the SAARC Interior Ministers that at national level, Pakistan has made “remarkable gains” against terrorism through operation Zarb-e- Azb and effective implementation of the National Action Plan.

He said these gains reflected the Government’s determination to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from its
soil for good.

He said despite the challenges the SAARC has made
commendable contributions in achieving the goal of regional
integration in South Asia.

However, added that to make the organization more
effective, responsive and vibrant, it was vital for the
national governments and the SAARC bodies to make concerted efforts to make the organization more productive.

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The Prime Minister said the SAARC region was blessed
with tremendous human and natural resources and said there was a need to provide a platform to optimally harness the regional potential for peace and prosperity of its people.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said such an approach was in
sync with his Government’s vision of peace for development and peaceful neighbourhood.

He said Pakistan was supportive of initiatives taken by
the SAARC to advance its ideals and objectives as enshrined in its charter. He said Pakistan has also been strong advocate of stepping up regional efforts to ensure energy security through sharing of indigenous sources.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan believes that connectivity was critical to the progress and prosperity of the region and supports, in principle, road, air, rail and water connectivity within the region.

He said SAARC must position itself to engage with
interested States for social and economic progress in the

“The realization of the goals and objectives envisaged
in SAARC charter is our collective responsibility,” the prime
minister said.

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He expressed the hope that the decisions taken at the
meeting would provide the much needed impetus to the ongoing efforts in enhancing cooperation amongst the member states.

Prime Minister Sharif said the SAARC was conceived three
decades ago to bring peace, freedom, social justice and
economic prosperity in the region. He said with increasing
connectivity and globalisation the member states also shared
common challenges and concerns.

He said the interdependence calls for joint strategies
to counter terrorism, narcotics trade, cyber crimes, and
trafficking in women and children.

Earlier the SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa
in his remarks said there was a need to take effective
measures to tackle the issues of narcotics, terrorism, cyber
crimes and other transnational crimes.

He said “SAARC condemns terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations and said there was a need for effective
cooperation among member countries to combat this menace.”

The Secretary General said the 7th SAARC meeting would
review progress on decisions taken in previous meetings.