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Pakistan vocally pursued agenda of regional integration: Raza Rabbani

31 January, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has vocally pursued the agenda of regional integration and advocated a ‘look inward’ approach to work jointly for regional development. Asia is rising and its people have to be the masters of their own destiny.

This was stated by Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani while addressing the inaugural session of the 3rd ECO Attorney Generals’ Conference being held from Tuesday.

Rabbani said that 21st century belonged to Asia and it was only through enhanced cooperation and linkages that we could rise together. “The West has its own agenda and wants us to be divided and insecure. However, we, as Asians, need to exercise caution and face the challenges through a collective effort. Our challenges have a similar nature. Our resources are being exploited by imperialist mindset to their own benefit, he remarked,” he said.

He warned that century for Asia would mark the region as the centre of conspiracy to destabilise the region on ethnic, cultural and national divides as the major players were trying to create regional conflicting hegemonies to feed the cold war necessities. “Thus, nations in the region lost sight of their future and stood split on ethnic and other divides for no good of their own, feeding only the purposes of ‘major players’ in the cold war,” he said.

He said that the region as a whole had witnessed waves of destabilisation and Pakistan, being strategically located, had remained in the forefront of this subversion.

“Destabilisation of even a single country of Asia region is an enormous loss,” Raza Rabbani said.

He said that Pakistan was signatory to or had ratified international conventions relating to human trafficking and has effectively addressed the issues of money laundering and terrorist financing and was taking actions to curb it.

While giving a detailed account of steps taken by Pakistan, he said that in 2007, Pakistan’s Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance established the Financial Monitoring Unit, an autonomous body responsible for analysing suspicious currency transactions in Pakistan.

He said that two bills titled: ‘Trafficking in Persons Bill’ and ‘Smuggling of Migrants Bill’ were under consideration in the Senate to the prevent and combat smuggling of migrants, promote and facilitate national and international cooperation for protection of victims. He, however, stressed that human smuggling and trafficking needed to be defined. He said that the developing world was being used as market for Western products, but its labour could not access their lands leading to unequal economic conditions in developing countries and creating unrest giving international dimension to sense of deprivation amongst the citizens. He said that this factor had close link with the war driven economies of the West, giving rise to extremism and furthering terrorism. “The West demands from us, but our demands are never met,” he said.

He said that ECO was a better platform for regional development and proposed that increased interaction among legislative, judicial and executive pillars would pave the way for opening up new vistas of mutual cooperation.

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