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Security challenges hampering socio-economic devp: Aziz at ‘Heart of Asia’ conference

Advisor to the Pakistani Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz is seen during an interview, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3FF51

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, has delivered opening remarks at the fifth ‘ Heart of Asia’ ministerial conference in Islamabad, saying that a conducive political and security environment is vital for promoting regional economic cooperation and connectivity.

“Our region is mired in dire security challenges which are hampering our socio-economic development,” Aziz said.

Talking about the situation in Afghanistan that has become instable due to the recent violence by the Taliban, Aziz said that Pakistan wants durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“Instability in Afghanistan is not in our interest. We will, therefore, continue to support all endeavours aiming at strengthening peace and security in Afghanistan,” he added.

He also said that political consultations involving Afghanistan and its neighbours and regional countries with a view to promoting mutual trust in the areas of security and economic interaction are creating a positive space.

He also spoke about terrorism in the region, saying that terrorism continues to be a major threat to global and regional peace.

“During last few years, Pakistan has suffered huge human and economic losses due to this menace. Our resolute struggle against terrorism is now bringing the fruit of peace and prosperity to our people. In our view, closer regional cooperation can play an effective role in eliminating the scourge of terrorism,” Aziz said. (ANI)