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Published Date: Dec 11, 2015

Saarc states should work together to fight poverty: Imran

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has expressed the hope that normalisation of relations would reduce tensions between Pakistan and India.
Speaking on ways of integrating South Asia for improving the plight of people at the 8th Sustainable Development Conference here on Thursday, he said political, economic and social integration of the entire region would help reduce poverty.
The four-day conference has been organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
Also read: Climate change has cost the country $20bn: report
Referring to deforestation and illegal cutting of trees by timber mafia in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr Khan said the provincial government would achieve the target of growing one billion trees by 2018.
The tree plantation drive is a major initiative to overcome effects of the climate change.
He said the climate change would also affect Pakistan because it had been ranked one of the 10 countries to be affected.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said sustainable development goals could be achieved through peace and integration and that was the only way to achieve development agenda in the region.
He said South Asian women parliamentarians could play a major role in bringing about a change in the political mindset.
Chairperson of National Commission on Status of Women Ms Khawar Mumtaz said in South Asia the pace of women empowerment was slow and ineffective. She called upon women not to be seen as victims at the time of a crisis but as actors and workers.
Talking about the positive correlation of women’s emancipation with prosperity, she said laws were there but political elements held back women from their potential.
Ms Danielle Huot from Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium said there was a strong sentiment about decreased urban economy after the establishment of national unity government in Afghanistan. She said political precondition for growth could not be achieved without addressing predation, control of rent-seeking behaviour and sufficient public investment in public goods.
Senior Adviser of International Water Management Institute Khalid Mohtadullah said in Pakistan there was no approved water policy, and issues of climate change and water management urgently required the one.