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Pakistan trying to turn new page in ties with neighbours: PM Nawaz

11 December, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday Pakistan was trying to turn a new page with its neighbours and prepared to look at the larger picture.

Addressing the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) in Islamabad, Nawaz also stressed greater connectivity among the Asian countries for their mutual development and prosperity.

According to the prime minister, the newly elected parliament was working to address the challenges confronting the country and had forged a national consensus on how to deal with terrorism and poor economy. He said there was need to address the crippling energy crisis and the government was striving on war-footing to combat the energy deficiency, attract foreign investment, mobilise domestic resources and jump-start economic growth.

He expressed the confidence that the regional parliamentary forums such as APA can play an active role to generate joint strategies to effectively deal with the critical issues of energy, growth and environment, which are common to the most of Asia. The PM said the APA provides an excellent opportunity to legislatures across Asia to connect with each other and learn from each other's experiences.

He said that with parliament giving voice to the aspirations of the country's people, the government was working to address the challenges confronting the country. He also said the government was able to forge a national consensus on how to address the threat of terrorism. Nawaz said Pakistan had reached out to both Afghanistan and India.

He said that in an Asian century, an opportunity would be witnessed for South Asia to join the other Asian engines such as China and the ASEAN. He said Pakistan was proud to host the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, one of the most important parliamentary events in the world. He expressed satisfaction over the commonalities in APA and Pakistan's ideals concerning strengthening democracy, peace, development, regional cooperation, security and well-being of the people across the Asian continent. The prime minister said the theme for this assembly was particularly relevant – Asian Century: Cooperation in Economy, Energy and the Environment. He said the theme had a particular resonance for Pakistan.

End.

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