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Pakistan believes in regional cooperation: Shaukat

13 September, 2005

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz addresses at the launching ceremony of Pakistan Plan of Action to Implement SAARC Social Charter, organized by
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ISLAMABAD, September 14 (Online): Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has underscored the need for making SAARC more effective and vibrant body saying that Pakistan believes in regional cooperation and SAARC can play vital role in this regard.

"There is need to make SAARC more effective and vibrant body. This organisation can play important role for the resolution of problems and boosting regional cooperation. The member countries can sort out their common problems through talks on this platform", he said this while addressing a ceremony held here in Prime Minister secretariat auditorium Tuesday on the subject of Pakistan strategy on implementation of SAARC social charter.

He underlined that the close social, cultural and economic interaction between the people of South Asia can lead to enhance economic growth besides uplifting the standard of life of people.

Under SAARC social charter, member countries of SAARC can achieve social uplift of their people and national development targets easily, he noted.

Poverty still remains a major issue in developing countries, he said adding there is need to eliminate this menace.

Talking of Pakistan action plan, he said the plan which is drawn up in the light of SAARC social charter is aimed at focusing on strategy related to development of social sector, welfare-oriented projects for women, youths and children, improvement in housing project and supply of water.

Prime Minister underscored that Pakistan was sincere in bringing change in its social and economic sectors and a comprehensive strategy was devised in October 1999 in this connection. In line with this mechanism, Pakistan is playing fundamental role for continuity in democratic process, good governance and peace and stability at regional and international level, he indicated.

He reiterated that the deregulation and privatization policy pursued by the government led to flourish country's economy besides gearing up pace of development at local level. The women were empowered in local government system at provincial and national level, he noted. The women folk was given equal representation in decision making process, he pointed out.

He maintained that under second generation reforms, steps were being taken for institutional stabilization and improvement in service delivery. Government was pursuing measures to provide basic amenities like health care, education and better residential accommodation besides provision of job opportunities to the people. Billion of rupees were spent in the last five years on various projects pertaining to poverty alleviation and development of social sector, he added.

Government is committed to ensure supply of electricity to all parts of the country by 2007 under Roshan Pakistan program , he underlined. The projects on supply of gas and provision of safe drinking water will be completed under Khushal Pakistan program, he added.

Pakistan is striving for promotion of peace, development, stability and prosperity at international level and durable peace in South Asia, he held.

"We have initiated composite dialogue process with India. President general Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister are going to hold important meeting in this regard", he indicated.

Pakistan will present its proposals in SAARC conference taking place in Dhakka in November to make this body vibrant and viable , he told. This platform is heading towards right direction. However there is need to further strengthen it.

A lot of challenges are ahead, he said adding that we can change the destiny of people living in South Asia by benefiting from each other expertise and through joint efforts.

End.

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