Iftikhar Malik urges sincere efforts by SAARC states to explore its true potential

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LAHORE: SAARC CCI Senior Vice President (SVP) Iftikhar
Ali Malik Wednesday said Pakistan always strived to make SAARC an important
vehicle for regional cooperation based on principle of sovereign equality
and still remained committed to SAARC objectives.
Talking to media here on Wednesday , he said as a founding member, Pakistan has played important role in efforts aimed at realizing objectives of the organization and it also expects serious and sincere response by the member countries especially from India to explore its true potential for
development of the region’s economy and for its prosperity.
He said SAARC has immense potential for strengthening economies of member
countries and to promote collaboration in various areas of mutual
significance. He said SAARC should continue to strive for achieving
economic, cultural and social growth of the region.
He said connectivity is very important issue today and SAARC can play a
great role in connectivity for the region.
Answering about a question about his recent cancellation of tour to India,
he said Pakistan always gave positive gesture to India and it is now
responsibility of Indian government to come forward to strengthen bilateral
relations setting aside its narrowness and prejudice. “Whether by a
uniformed man or a civilian premier, one has to accept that Pakistan has
never shied away from offering friendship to India. It has done so several
times in the past and even this time; it has welcomed the resumption of
dialogue more eagerly than India. India, on the other hand, suspended
dialogue after the Pakistani envoy met with Hurriyat leaders,” he added.
Iftikhar Malik said India always accused of Pakistan for cross border
terrorism and it always forgot that Pakistan has been a and continues to be
a victim of terrorism and has reportedly lost over 80,000 lives up until
now in the ongoing war on terror. “The Pakistani army is currently fighting
a war, not just against a few terrorist groups but against the entire
terrorist infrastructure itself; to ensure Pakistan’s survival. It is in
this climate that security agencies of both countries have alleged one
another’s involvement in backing terrorist groups but the Pakistani
government has never suspended dialogue on those grounds,” he added.

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