'Wrong to blame Pak for hurdles in SAARC economic integration'
Pakistan today said it is wrong to blame it for creating hurdles in economic integration of the SAARC region, saying it was not the only country which had not completed internal procedures for the inking of connectivity agreements during the Summit in Nepal.
Islamabad: Pakistan today said it is wrong to blame it for creating hurdles in economic integration of the SAARC region, saying it was not the only country which had not completed internal procedures for the inking of connectivity agreements during the Summit in Nepal.
"Two of these (agreements) have not been finalised as yet. Pakistan is not the only country that has not completed its internal procedures with regard to the two agreements. There are other SAARC members as well," Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said.
"It is wrong to say that Pakistan is creating hurdles for economic integration of the region," she said and blamed Indian media for such reports.
"We understand that the reports of the experts group were supposed to be submitted to the ministers concerned for meeting the procedural requirements. And we had already indicated to the host Secretariat that the procedures had not been completed," she said.
Pakistan yesterday stalled the inking of SAARC connectivity agreements, including motor vehicle pact, saying it was yet to complete its "internal process", notwithstanding other countries, including India and Sri Lanka, who have been strongly pitching for strengthening the people-to-people contact and movement of goods in the region.
Aslam said that Pakistan wants peace with its neighbours for the development of the region, but good neighbourly ties have to be on the basis of equality.
"We have repeatedly said that we want peace in the neighbourhood - peace for development. All the countries in this region confront the problem of poverty. We need to focus on our internal economic stability and development," she said.
She said Pakistan played a very constructive role in the meetings leading up to the Summit and actively participated in deliberations in the Standing Committee and in the Council of Ministers.