ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has stressed for making Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) more vibrant and efficient through accelerated reforms to realize its full potential.
Addressing the 16th ECO Summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, he said a well-connected region can bring colossal economic and peace dividends for our peoples.
The Prime Minister noted that the corridor based approach adopted by the ECO to maximize potential was a step in the right direction. Such corridors will lead to greater connectivity amongst the member countries and usher in a new era of massive economic growth in the region.
He said the corridor projects will facilitate an enabling environment for the private sector to widen business and investment opportunities.
Terming operationalization of Istanbul-Tehran- Islamabad corridor a significant development, he said Pakistan is upgrading its rail and road infrastructure to facilitate trade with the neighbors and beyond. He said it is imperative that more border crossing points in the ECO region are notified so that trade operations are facilitated.
Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said Afghanistan has a critical role in regional connectivity. Projects such as CASA 100, Trans Afghan railways, TAPI and others are not only merely economic projects, they are also strategic investments in our shared future. He said Pakistan, therefore, looks forward to working closely with other ECO countries towards the shared goal of building a peaceful, prosperous and interconnected Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the ECO trade agreement quota is a landmark preferential trade arrangement. He urged the member countries to sign the quota and thus promote regional trade.
Highlighting the latest development in the investment landscape of Pakistan, he said the government has established a Special Investment Facilitation Council that will serve as single window platform for cooperation in five key sectors including agriculture, defence production, IT, energy and mining. This body has the mandate to give directions to any government institutions and ensure policy continuation and execution.
Denouncing Israeli atrocities in Gaza, the Prime Minister said this issue needs to be addressed in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. He urged the ECO member countries to push for a ceasefire in Gaza, support the call for provision of humanitarian assistance and rally efforts to hold Israel to account.
Highlighting the Indian atrocities in illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said Pakistan continues to rely on its fraternal ECO countries to support the exercise of right to self-determination by the people of Kashmir in the light of relevant UNSC resolutions.