Let SAARC process move ahead

AS Pakistan has been expressing its readiness to hold the 19th SAARC summit early next year, India, which caused its postponement on flimsy grounds, is still engaginged in negativity in this regard. On Thursday, a spokesman of the Indian External Affairs Ministry told newsmen that ‘it depends on the attitude of Pakistan whether or not the SAARC summit is held’.
As for Pakistan is concerned, its sincerity and commitment to the SAARC process was renewed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his message on the occasion of 31st anniversary of establishment of SAARC on Thursday. The Prime Minister said Pakistan firmly believes in the objectives of SAARC for cherished goal of a prosperous and developed South Asian region. But as pointed out by Mian Nawaz Sharif only through adhering to the principles of sovereign equality and mutual respect among member states SAARC countries could achieve the cherished goal of shared progress and peace. Unfortunately, India doesn’t believe in sovereign equality of all members and wants to use the platform to dictate its terms and establish its political and economic monopoly. Otherwise, objective of the SAARC was to promote regional progress and prosperity through joint and collaborative efforts and once this objective is achieved, hopefully there would be conducive environment for resolution of conflicts and problems. By blocking holding of the summit or other SAARC activities, India is conveying a negative message that it is opposed to philosophy of regional cooperation that has paid dividends in many other regions of the world. People of the SAARC region face almost similar problems and they can address them in an effective manner through collective efforts and strategy. We hope India would shun negative attitude and extend cooperation in transforming SAARC into a vibrant entity for economic development of the region.

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