Our Correspondent Ashgabat
President Arif Alvi on Sunday said that peace in Afghanistan is key to regional connectivity among the members of the Economic Cooperation Organisation.
The president made these remarks while addressing the 15th Summit of the Heads of State of the ECO in Turkmenistan.
Alvi said that the specter of economic collapse looms large in Afghanistan due to the winter, which could lead to a complete collapse of the war-torn country and push it towards chaos once again.
He said peace in Afghanistan was essential for peace in ECO countries, adding that the Afghan people should particularly be helped in the education and health sectors.
“We must come together to promote economic stability and sustainability in Afghanistan,” Alvi said, adding that the unilateral sanctions worsen human suffering and have adverse consequences for the region.
The president emphasised that there was danger of refugees influx in case of economic collapse in Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan has done an “outstanding job” by hosting at least four million refugees during their “difficult times”.
On the prevailing coronavirus situation, Alvi said that the ECO states suffered due to the pandemic, resulting in globalised inflation. The government in Pakistan is providing targeted support to the poor to cushion the impact of inflation, he added.
The president further stated that the ECO should join other developing countries in promoting a common development agenda for sustainable growth.
Alvi said Pakistan will propose a development agenda in the next meeting in China that calls for a complete overhaul of the redistribution of $650 billion of
SDRs, large concessional financing, $100b to developing countries to fight climate change and an end to the illicit flow of money that impover-ished the developing countries as well as the return of stolen assets.
“An equitable trading environment and a fair global taxation regime are essential,” he added.
Alvi also urged the ECO countries to move to-wards greater virtual integration to increase the trade volume, adding that the ECO states have all elements needed for economic growth.
President Alvi said the intra-regional trade among ECO members is only eight percent of their total trade. “Unlocking the potential for regional integration will provide significant im-petus to growth and development in all ECO Member States.