Published Date: Dec 9, 2015
Both Pakistan and India can bring peace and prosperity in the region by extending cooperation to each other, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Prof Ahsan Iqbal said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the inaugural session of a three-day 18th Sustainable Development Conference organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) with the theme ‘Securing Peace and Prosperity’, the minister said that a collective vision of South Asia should be launched to fight the common enemy, which is poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and terrorism. This, he said, could only be achieved through regional cooperation and integration. He said that the government was working in close collaboration with provincial governments in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). About regional cooperation, he said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor could bear fruits for all the neighbouring countries.
Thought leaders, development practitioners, policy makers and researchers from the world over especially from South Asia are participating in the conference.
SDPI Board of Governors Chairman and former ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel said that the agenda of sustainable development in South Asia could only be achieved through economic cooperation and regional integration.
In his keynote speech, Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said that South Asia needs to build a trust fund to cope with trade, investment and human vulnerabilities.
He said that cross-border and internal conflicts remain the biggest threat to human development. He expressed concern about the fact that critical data for development and policymaking at regional level was still lacking.