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Peace, security in South Asia essential for progress, says Iftikhar Malik

LAHORE:    SAARC CCI Senior Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik Monday strongly condemning the coordinated blasts that took place across various churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, killing more than 200 people, including foreigners emphasized to SAARC countries that an environment of peace and security in South Asia is essential for economic development.
He extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and government of Sri Lanka via SAARC CCI President Ruwan Edirisinghe who left for Sri Lanka after his visit to Pakistan on Sunday night. He said “We stand together with the people and Government of Sri Lanka in this hour of grief.”
President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai, Chairman Accounts Committee SAARC Chamber Zubair Ahmad Malik, Chairman Coordination Committee Sohail Hussain Malik, Secretary General Ms Hina Saeed, Deputy Secretary General Zulfikar Ahmad Butt, former Secretary General Rehmat Ullah Javed, Chairman SAARC Committee on youth entrepreneurship Shaharyar Ali Malik were also present on the occasion.
Iftikhar Malik said that Pakistan attached great importance to its neighbours, South Asia and believed in lasting peace and that peace and the security of the region is a primary responsibility of all. An environment of peace and security is essential for regional cooperation to progress and achieve economic development and prosperity of our people,” he added.

He further said the number of incidents endangering South Asia is on the rise and terrorism remains the single-largest threat to peace and stability in the geopolitical region, and the world.
Highlighting the role of Pakistan against terrorism, he said Pakistan is itself a victim of terrorism. He further said the world, especially the US under Trump administration, should recognise the sacrifices of Pakistan on war against terrorism. He said terrorism has claimed more than 80,000 lives over the last 16 years and suffered over $123 billion economic losses, besides damaging roads network.
He said Pakistan believed that terrorism is a global problem and requires concerted efforts of the international community to defeat it. Only through dialogue and constructive engagement, can we defeat this scourge throughout our region.
He remarked that it was therefore critical that instead of unwarranted criticism and rhetoric, the regional countries develop cooperative approaches to counter the scourge of terrorism.
Iftikhar Malik said SAARC CCI President Ruwan Edirisinghe tour to Pakistan successful and SAARC CCI is working hard to boost regional trade besides eliminating poverty in South Asia.
He urged the governments of SAARC member countries to adopt policies helpful to push export sector in regional trade agreements, while looking at issues of competitiveness across sectors in the form of reforms and liberalisation and focusing on the trade policy.

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