BISHKEK: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday, while addressing a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, said that Pakistan is an attractive investment destination and a large market endowed with a rich array of resources.
Addressing the 19th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of SCO, the premier said the predominantly young population of Pakistan is imbued with immense energy and creativity.
“Our other endowments include a vast pool of skilled human resource, a large agrarian base, tremendous tourism potential, diverse mineral wealth, and a developed IT infrastructure,” he said.
He said Pakistan builts its partnerships based on mutual respect, sovereign equality and equal benefit.
Imran said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which he noted was “the flagship project of President Xi’s far-sighted Belt and Road Initiative”, is fast reaching fruition.
“Gwadar Port, at its southern end, marks the only point of convergence of the maritime Belt and the overland Road.”
The premier shared that he had visited China in April for the second Belt and Road Forum.
“In time, CPEC is destined to catalyze the creation of an integrated pan-Asian sphere of shared prosperity,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran said that the world was seeing the “advent of a multi-polar global order” for the first time in ages.
“Epicentres of economic power and growth momentum are shifting eastwards,” he said, adding: “Regional integration is speeding up. Disruptive technologies are maturing.”
The premier said that there were threats from terrorism to climate change to narcotics to bacterial resistance. Additionally, he said there were increasing barriers to open trade and innovation as well as growing intolerance and Islamaphobia, which were “threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines”.
He said that Pakistan condemns terrorism in all forms including state terrorism against people under illegal occupation.
“We are among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism,” PM Imran said, adding: “Pakistan remains ready to share its experience and expertise in counter terrorism. We will also remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives.”
While stating that Pakistan fully supports efforts for peace and reconcliation in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process, he said that there was finally a realization that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
“SCO’s support for post-conflict Afghanistan will remain crucial,” he said, adding appreciation for the contributions being made by China, Russia and Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours to the process.
Prime Minister Imran noted that South Asia continued to be challenged by “common enemies” of poverty, illiteracy, disease and under-development.
“Political differences and unresolved disputes further compound the predicament,” he said, while noting that enduring peace and prosperity in the region would “remain elusive until the main dynamic in South Asia is shifted from confrontation to cooperation”.
“It is important to seize the opportunities for peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes and collective endeavours for regional prosperity.”