Senate body for stronger ties with South, Central Asia
21 June, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan directed the Foreign Ministry to pay special attention to develop and further strengthen ties with countries in the South Asia, Central Asia and Gulf region at bilateral as well as regional block-levels, besides focusing on the West.
The committee was presided over by its chairman Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel at the Parliament House on Wednesday. During the two-days deliberations, the committee thoroughly discussed Pakistan's relations with Central Asian states, SAARC and OIC countries. The members of the committee were of the view that the fast changing situation at regional and global level required formulation of policies that might protect and promote our national interest. They expressed satisfaction over the issues taken up, saying the country's foreign policy reflected the aspirations of the people and solid steps had been taken to protect the national interest, keeping in view the changing regional realities.
They said the contours of greater South Asia were driven by energy and economy, adding that the government should focus on enhancing trade and business ties with regional players, besides cooperation in the energy sector to bridge the demand and supply gap. "South and Central Asian region is most important for us," the members observed. The committee stressed upon the Foreign Ministry to focus attention on the region and further consolidate the ties to have a say in the regional affairs.
The members expressed hope that the foreign affairs committee of the Senate would play an effective role to promote peace and stability in the region and would formulate recommendations in that regard. The senators also stressed upon the ministry to take steps for making Pakistani missions abroad proactive in promoting a soft image of the country and resolve issues of the Pakistani community living abroad.