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Express Tribune

Published Date: Sep 14, 2012


In efforts to create a sustainable peace environment in the region, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar suggested promoting regionalism over nationalism and investing in intra-regional projects aimed at having ownership in each others’ futures.

Emphasising the need for developing a ‘common vision’ for South Asia (SA), Khar floated the idea of “looking first as a citizen of the region.” She was speaking at the concluding ceremony of the fifth South Asia Economic Summit.

While commenting on recent peace overtures, Khar also said that Pakistan was proud to walk-the-talk with its immediate neighbours with a more optimistic, open and positive mindset coupled with a strong political will and political consensus. She said that India should not underestimate the signals Pakistan was sending while removing the bottlenecks to the relations.

There is an absolute political consensus among all the political forces in the country that we should have peace, normalisation and trust with our neighbours, she added. “We are moving ahead on regional trade, regional connectivity, deeper integration and infrastructure development including energy,” the minister said.

“It is, in fact, economic diplomacy which is creating space for political diplomacy despite challenges such as food security, climate change, water, energy and many others,” she added.