Islamabad, November 04, 2012 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday said that Pakistan would continue to play a proactive role to make SAARC a vibrant regional organization as regional cooperation was an important engine of prosperity. He said that changing political and economic landscape has enhanced the role of the SAARC Parliaments and the SAARC Parliaments are now well placed to plan and lead efforts for solving complex issues besetting the region.
The President said this during meeting with Ms. Meira Kumar, speaker of Indian Lok Sabha, who called on him after the inauguration of 6th SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians Conference at the Aiwan –e- Sadr today.
Briefing about the meeting, Spokesperson to the President, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that matters regarding further promoting SAARC role in various fields, increased contacts of parliamentarians, regional issues and Pak- India bilateral relations were discussed during the meeting.
The President said that Pakistan attached great importance to SAARC as it could play an important role in bringing the people of the members’ states together by promoting investment, trade and people to people contacts.
The President emphasized on enhanced people to people contacts among member states of SAARC and said that the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians was a vital instrument for promoting contacts between the peoples of the region.
He commended the role of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians promoting people to people contacts and thereby regional cooperation. The President said that need for regional cooperation has never been as great as it is today to meet the emerging challenges of ever growing population of the region.
Discussing Pak- India bilateral relations, the President said that Pakistan was committed to a constructive, sustained and result oriented process of engagement with India and reiterated his call for the two countries to make determined efforts for friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations. He expressed satisfaction that the resumed dialogues between the two countries are progressing.
The President said that Pakistan was keen to promote greater interaction between the parliamentarians from both countries and noted that high level visits have significantly improved the atmosphere between the two countries. He expressed hope that bilateral parliamentary exchanges will continue in the future, which he said would help promote people to people contacts besides building mutual trust and understanding.
The President said that finding amicable and just solutions to resolve all outstanding issues was important for Pakistan and India to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region.
He said the South Asia region has enormous potential and cooperation between the two countries was imperative to exploit this potential.
The President recalled his recent two meetings with the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, one on the sidelines 16th Summit of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) at Tehran and second in New Delhi during his visit to Ajmer Sharif. He said that he was deeply touched by the warm hospitality extended to him at New Delhi and Ajmer Sharif.
The President also recalled his meeting with Ex Prime Minister of India Mr. Rajiv Gandhi during fourth SAARC Summit held in Islamabad in December, 1988.
Ms. Meira Kumar, Speaker of Lok Sabha, thanked the President for meeting and conveyed best wishes of the Indian leadership and people for the Government and the people of Pakistan. She said that her country desired good friendly relations with Pakistan and wanted to work together in coping with the common challenges and issues.
The Spokesperson said that Ms. Meira Kumar lauded President Zardari for his visionary leadership and sagacity in nourishing democracy in the country.
Ms. Meira Kumar, Speaker of Indian Lok Sabha was accompanied by Prof. P.J. Kurien, Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Mr. T.K. Viswanathan, Secretary General, Lok Sabha and Mr. Sharat Sabharwal, Indian High Commissioner.
From Pakistan side those who attended the meeting included Senator Syed Nayyer Husain Bukhari, Chairman Senate, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Speaker National Assembly, Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, Deputy Speaker National Assembly , Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, MOS for foreign affairs, Spokesperson to the President, Senator Farhatullah Babar, Maj ® Haroon Rashid, Special Secretary to President, Mr. Karaamt Hussain, Secretary National assembly, Mr. Alamgir Babar, Special Secretary, Ministry of foreign affairs and other senior officials.
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