ISLAMABAD - Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs on Monday urged the member countries of the Developing-8 Organisation (D-8) to evolve a comprehensive mechanism to cooperation for resolving the energy crisis in the region.
Addressing the 33rd session of the Commissioners of Developing-8 Organisation here, Sartaj Aziz said that special efforts should be made to resolve the energy crisis as it was becoming a daunting challenge.
He said Pakistan was in the process of organising the first meeting of D-8 Energy Forum in Islamabad.
He also urged the organisation to initiate the phase of substantive cooperation by operationalising the agreements related to removing barriers in trade and business, particularly the Preferential Trade Agreement.
Highlighting the economic revival as a high priority of the govt, Sartaj said that this was the reason that the decision to join the D-8 was taken by Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif over 15 years ago and attended the first historical summit of the organisation in Istanbul in June 1997.
The Adviser proposed to the member countries to evolve a mechanism of cooperation in the energy sector, as the energy crisis is becoming a daunting challenge.
He suggested that the member countries can take initiatives in cooperation in capacity building, transfer of technology, transfer of capital & labour, energy and food security, Islamic banking, and halal sector development.
Later in a meeting with the D-8 Secretary-General Dr Syed Ali Muhammad Mousavi, Sartaj proposed ways to fast track the implementation of trade and visa agreements. He expressed the hope that the D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement will be implemented soon.
The D-8 Secretary-General thanked the Adviser for organising the Commission Meeting and appreciated Pakistan's active role in the D-8 activities.
He assured support of his organisation in expediting the implementation of D-8 agreements which envisage current intra-D-8 trade of US$ 150 billion to increase to US$ 500 billion by 2018.
The D-8 Commissioners from member countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey) and D-8 Secretary-General Dr. Mousavi are attending the two-day meeting.
The two-day event of Developing-8 countries known as D-8 to review the progress made in intra-D-8 cooperation in several areas.
The leaders of member countries had adopted in Islamabad for the first time in the D-8 history, key documents including the organisation's Charter and its Global Vision for next two decades, apart from adopting the Islamabad Declaration 2012.
Particular importance on the agenda of the meeting is the review of D-8 agreements relating to facilitation of trade and business among member countries.
Meanwhile, in an interview, Sartaj Aziz has said that resolution of Kashmir issue is vital to bring peace in the region‚ which is major cause of tension between India and Pakistan. He said Pakistan wants to restore dialogue with India with an objective to bring peace in the region‚ which is also important for progress and prosperity of people. However‚ he said restoration of dialogue does not look possible before the general elections in India.
On the issue of drone attacks‚ Sartaj Aziz said these are in violation of sovereignty of Pakistan and we cannot compromise on our sovereignty at any cost.
He said the issue will also be discussed at length in the forthcoming round of strategic dialogue‚ which will resume early next year.
Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan made it clear to the Afghan President during his recent visit‚ it does not want to interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan‚ however‚ it is our earnest desire and effort to bring peace and stability in that country.
He said stability in Afghanistan is vital particularly after the withdrawal of foreign forces and it needs political solution of the issue for this purpose.