US role as peace promoter in SA required, says Malik

By Asad Cheema

ISLAMABAD: Founder President Pak-US Business Council Iftikhar Ali Malik Tuesday regarding US President Donald Trump’s speech at a rally in India, said the US’ role in South Asia had become more significant with respect to Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and the changing geopolitical landscape for the prosperity of South Asian region.
He said President Trump’s commitment for the betterment of South Asian countries especially developing harmony was appreciable. He said Pakistan was ready to play a constructive role in developing deep-rooted linkages to help deal with all the emerging challenges in the region apart from demonstrating an utmost commitment towards maintaining peace and stability, besides strengthening of economy in South Asia.
Iftikhar Malik, who is also SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) President-designate said Pakistan believed in regional development through the platform of SAARC as it was the way forward for peace and economic prosperity in the region.
The region had abundant human and natural resources, with one-fifth of the humanity and untapped plenty of indigenous and natural resources for regional uplift, he added. He said, ‘The social charter of the organisation was the real way forward and his country would support all initiatives by SAARC in this regard.’ He said not surprisingly, we are among the least integrated regions in the world with cross-border trade and movement of people hindered by restrictive laws and extremely poor connectivity.
Trade among ourselves is not more than 5% of our total trade volume which was negligible and that must be boosted up manifold for the welfare of people of the region. Iftikhar Malik said our combined demographic might constitutes a talented and industrious population that accounts for a quarter of the world’s human capital and emerging global market.
No less is our contribution to science, technology, art, culture and trade. And we are well endowed with bounties of nature. Indeed, any contemplation of our future gives cause for optimism and conjures the vision of enormous prosperity ‘“ not just for south Asians but for the rest of the world.
He emphasized the need for building people-to-people contacts through relaxed visa policy. ‘The visa liberalization policy is ideal as it could benefit South Asian countries in a multitude of ways, which also includes instilling of peace sentiments coupled with promotion of durable economic harmony.