Talks only option to resolve issues : PM Imran offers role in bridging gap between China and US— Suggests formation of a bloc along the lines of EU to promote trade

Observer Report

Prime Minister Imran Khan, on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka, has said that Pakistan supports resolving all prevailing regional conflicts through dialogue.

He made these remarks while addressing the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Conference.

Imran and Mahinda Rajapaksa led their business delegations at the conference held in a bid to explore avenues of collaboration in diverse fields.

Imran Khan said that the long standing issue of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir can only be resolved through negotiations. “

Initiating wars gives rise to more disputes,” he said and added, “we offered India to holds talks but the country did not pay heed to it,” he added.

The premier further asked the business community of Sri Lanka to participate in CPEC as it will open the opportunity for the investors to utilize Gwadar port for trading.

Imran Khan invited Sri Lankan businesspersons to invest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He also invited the Sri Lankan prime minister to visit Pakistan.

Poverty can be eliminated by boosting the business sector by adopting new techniques of investment, he added.

“Immediately when I came into power, I approached our neighbour India and explained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the way forward for the subcontinent is to resolve our differences through dialogue.”

The premier said that although he did not succeed, he is “optimistic that eventually sense will prevail”.

“The only way the subcontinent can tackle poverty is by improving trade relations.”

He maintained that Islamabad wishes for the Kashmir dispute to be resolved according to the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and “this can be only achieved through dialogue.

Poverty prevailing in the region can be eliminated through investment and profitable businesses. “

Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka have remained affected by terrorism, with tourism declining as a result,” he observed.

“Better relations between the countries in the region can help achieve the cause of eradicating poverty.”

The premier told those in attendance that Pakistan can also play the role of a mediator between the US and China to heal the widening rift between the two countries.

He further elaborated that Pakistan and Sri Lanka could explore the idea of generating wealth through joint business activities and diverting the wealth to alleviate poverty and offered the Sri Lankan businessmen to explore the immense opportunities offered by Pakistan in the form of ease-of-doing-business.

The prime minister maintained that the government would welcome and facilitate investment from the island nation.

Prime Minister Imran also met Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday. The premier, during the interaction, emphasized the importance of building robust economic partnership characterised by enhanced bilateral trade, investments, and commercial cooperation.

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