Thu, Sep

Heart of Asia moot opens: Sharif highlights peace-uplift nexus


President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif jointly inaugurated the fifth Heart of Asia ministerial conference in Islamabad on Wednesday.

In his opening remarks, Sharif called for stepped-up efforts to move forward from a conceptual domain to tangible landmarks for the implementation of concrete ideas, projects and visions.
He said: "Working for the achievement of a peaceful neighbourhood is a cardinal principal of Pakistan's foreign policy. We firmly believe peace is vital for development, and development is vital for durable peace."

The prime minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire for promoting regional development, increasing economic linkages, improving the quality of life for people and meeting security challenges.
The world fully respected Afghanistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Sharif said, hailing Ghani’s democratically elected government as the only legitimate authority in that country.
Pakistani would continue to support an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process, which remained the most viable option to end the conflict and promote stability in Afghanistan, he remarked.

Sharif believed: "Finalisation of border management standard operating procedures will be helpful in containing the movement of terrorists across the border."
He described the massive cross-border movement of refugees as a security risk that was exploited by extremists. He also suggested the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland in a dignified manner.