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SAARC nations should evolve a joint strategy to fight diseases, poverty and illiteracy: PM Shaukat Aziz

16 July, 2005

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz poses for photographers along with delegates of the SAARC grouping after the start of the 2nd Health Ministers'
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ISLAMABAD, July 17 (Online): Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Saturday said Pakistan is ready to become part of a global system that provides speedy justice, ensures peace and security and helps society to grow on equal grounds and for achieving this goal Islamabad is ready to join hands with all neighboring states.

Addressing the second Health Ministers Conference of SAARC member states here, he said Pakistan wants peace with all neighboring countries because peace is imperative for achieving development.

"We are ready to play a proactive role for achieving these goals," he maintained.

He said South Asia is an important region and SAARC members states will have to make an integrated effort to eradicate poverty, hunger, illiteracy and diseases from it.

He urged upon SAARC states to provide better heath facilities in their countries because a healthy society could play an important role for social and economic development.

Mr Aziz also reaffirmed the commitment of his government which is against all forms and manifestations of terrorism and added terrorism could not be wiped out from the society until its root cause is identified and eradicated.

He said Pakistan is playing an important role for wiping out terrorism not only from the region but also from the globe because it is a global threat.

The premier said South Asia has all the resources in the world to become hub of economic power of the world regretting the fact that most of the people of South Asia are fighting poverty, hunger and diseases.

The prime minister said globalization has created many challenges for South Asia however many new opportunities have also been created which could change the fate of this region.

Mr Shaukat Aziz went on to say that in order to achieve the target to eradicate poverty, hunger, illiteracy and diseases from the region every body will have to make an attempt and if SAARC states will not take the initiative then they will be left behind in this race and backwardness will become their fate.

"Countries of South Asia will have to make a combine effort by combining their assets and resources at single platform for achieving the target of Millennium Development Goals," he added.

He hailed the performance of few member states doing good in health sector and said the major threat entire South Asia is facing is lack of research in fight against diseases.

"We will have to develop a comprehensive strategy for improving heath of mother and child specialty to reduce the chance of viral infections," he underlined.

He also said that another reason behind backwardness of the region is illiteracy and poverty so every state of South Asia will have to formulate a joint plan in fighting out these two menaces if they want to progress and achieve their goals.

SAARC members states should formulate a clear line of action so that the region is completely free of diseases.

Pakistan, he said is playing its role for making the country free of diseases because a healthy nation could become a wealthy state that could face all global challenges.

He also unveiled the eleven point agenda for making South Asia free of diseases, and provision of better health facilities the people of this region.

Pakistan has also been given the chairmanship of SAARC Health Ministers Forum and Minister of Health Dr Naseer Khan has been given the responsibility for one year.

Talking to Online Dr Naseer said that next meeting of SAARC Health Ministers will be held in Dhaka (Bangladesh) in 2006.

He said during the second conference Health Ministers of the SAARC states have made a pledge to make a joint strategy to fight out diseases besides improving bilateral relations.


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