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ECO: Path to regional integration

ECO: Path to regional integration

The delegates at the Economic Cooperation Organisation Summit, including five heads of state and three heads of government, have expressed the resolve to work together for the collective benefit of the people in the ECO region. All the member states of the organizations are facing various economic challenges and the high profile get together provides an opportunity to enhance mutual cooperation and resolve the issues among them. The member states have appreciated the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,terming it a far-reaching initiative which will work as a catalyst for development of the entire region.It is a good omen that the presidents of Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, as well as the prime ministers of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and deputy prime minister of Uzbekistan participated in the summit, but unfortunately Afghanistan has lost a best opportunity to plead its case at the international forum and is busy in hurling “threatening requests” to Pakistan to open its border with Afghanistan. It is the unfortunate part of the country which voted against Pakistan to block its entry into the United Nations and its leadership did not mend its ways decades after starting hostile attitude against Pakistan at the behest of India.

However, the leaders participating in the summit reiterated their political commitment to achieve mutual aims and objectives and they joined hands for peace, stability, economic development, prosperity and regional integration among the member countries. The delegates adopted the Vision 2025 and reviewed their goals which were laid down in the post 2015 Development Agenda.At the home front, the political leaders in Islamabad are crediting the government for perusing Afghanistan not to boycott the summit, but the participation of that country through a lower rank official is not only an insult to the diplomatic norms but also for the whole member states of the organizations. Islamabad would have allowed Afghanistan to suffer in isolation in the regional perspective until their leaders come to reasons. The summit expressed concern over unresolved issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but failed to mention anything about Kashmir which shows how the country is defensive in its foreign policy. However, the holding of summit itself is a big achievement of the government at a time when terrorists have gone berserk in the country and India is trying its propaganda machine to isolate Pakistan.

Pakistan has always supported the initiatives for peace and security and prosperity of the people in the region. However, the world should also take notice of the Indian government’s atrocities in the occupied Kashmir and its hand in saboteur activities in Pakistan. This is a good opportunity for the leadership of the country to inform the member countries about India’s interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan.