Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said Pakistan needs immediate help to rehabilitate its thirty three million climate refugees affected by the recent devastating rains and floods.
Addressing the 6th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in Astana, Kazakhstan on Thursday, he said Pakistan is living through a colossal climate induced climate. He said unprecedented rains and flooding that have submerged one third of Pakistan are without any doubt the consequence of global warming and climate change.
He said according to initial estimates, the calamity has caused a loss to the tune of over thirty billion dollars.
The Prime Minister said the government has marshalled all the resources at its disposal for the rescue, relief and rehabilitation.
Shehbaz Sharif said though Pakistan is responsible for less than one percent of global carbon emissions yet we are amongst the ten top countries most severely impacted by climate change.
Expressing his gratitude to the countries who extended support to flood affected people, the Prime Minister said Pakistan looks forward to their continued support as the country transitions to the more daunting phase of reconstruction and rehabilitation.
He said Pakistan is determined to emerge stronger from these floods in a short period of time.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan’s location offers a natural bridge to regional economies. He said China Pakistan Economic Corridor has transformed the economic and connectivity landscape of the region.
He invited the members to take the advantage of the opportunity of trade, business and investment in Pakistan.
Highlighting the impacts of conflict in Afghanistan, he said Pakistan has borne the most serious consequence of the conflict in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan faced eighty thousand causalities and economic loses of over 150 billion dollars in the fight against terrorism. He said Pakistan with the help of great sacrifices curbed the menace of terrorism and extremism. He said Pakistan continues to host four million refugees.
Shehbaz Sharif said a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan, entire region and the world. He called upon the world to support the people of Afghanistan in their quest for sustainable peace, stability and development.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan first priority is to revive rapid and equitable economic growth. He said stability in the region is imperative to achieve the goal of economic growth. He said Pakistan desires peaceful relations with all its neighbours including India. However, until India brings its atrocities in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir to a grinding halt a just and lasting peace remains elusive.
He said India has defied the will of United Nations for seven decades. He said for seven decades India has used repression to silence the voice of Kashmiris demanding their rights.
Shehbaz Sharif urged the members to recognize the brutal nature of Indian policy in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He said India brandishes the democracy in occupied valley not through the ballot but through its bullet. He said India today is a threat to minorities, neighbours, and region and to itself. He said Pakistan is yet willing to engage with India for the sake of peace, prosperity and progress in the region as we cannot afford poverty and unemployment on both sides of the border. He said onus remains on India to take necessary steps for meaningful and result oriented engagement.
The Prime Minister also called for finding political solutions to the conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia. He said a just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question is essential for comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the CICA process and the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in Asia.
Source: Radio Pakistan