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SAARC must work to change S Asia’s economic landscape: Nawaz Sharif

Underlining that interdependence calls for greater cohesion among SAARC member states, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said the grouping must jointly work to change the economic landscape of South Asia and deliver its people from evils like poverty and illiteracy.

“Three decades ago the South Asian leadership made a commitment to accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development of our region. Promoting welfare and improving the quality of life of the people of South Asia was the key idea behind this thinking,” Sharif said, while addressing the inaugural session of the 8th SAARC Finance Ministers’ meeting here.

Sharif said the increasing interdependence and the notion of shared goals and common concerns were the genesis of the South Asian Association of Region Cooperation (SAARC).

“By realising the commitment of the leaders enshrined in SAARC charter we can all progress and bring economic stability and prosperity including social uplifts for our generations,” he said.

India is being represented at the summit by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley cancelled his participation amid the strain in bilateral ties.

Meanwhile, the 19th SAARC Summit will be held in Islamabad on November 9 and 10, Pakistan said on Friday. The preparations for successfully hosting the summit in Islamabad are on. 
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