Indian effort to isolate Pakistan hasn’t borne any fruit: Sartaj Aziz


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that Indian effort to isolate Pakistan in the comity of the nations hasn’t so far borne any fruit.

“Our importance and strategic role in Muslim countries is still vitally significant and we continue to participate in the proceedings of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC),” the adviser said in Islamabad on Saturday while briefing media about the upcoming 13th Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) Summit.

“We were away from the SAARC summit only,” Sartaj Aziz added.

The adviser informed that the Secretary General of SAARC (Pakistan’s Foreign Office Official) is expected to join the SAARC Secretariat next month.

Sartaj Aziz told that Pakistan is hosting the 13th ECO Summit in Islamabad on March 1 and it would be preceded by the Senior Officials’ meeting on February 26-27, and Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting on February 28.

The adviser told that 7 out of 10 ECO member states have confirmed their participation in the Summit at the highest level whereas Afghanistan and Azerbaijan have not yet confirmed. However, he added that Afghanistan’s participation at the foreign minister level has already been confirmed. He said that high level participation of the member states will greatly enhance the vitality and substance of the ECO Summit.

The adviser on foreign affairs said that ECO Observers and special guests have also been invited to attend the Summit.

Replying to a question, he said that elaborate and comprehensive security arrangements have been made for the Summit and asserted that it would send a very positive message to the world.

Sartaj Aziz said that the theme of ECO Summit is “Connectivity for Regional Prosperity” and the Summit would deliberate and decide on ways and means to augment cooperation in the areas of connectivity, trade, energy, tourism, investment, industry, economic growth, productivity, social welfare and environment.

The adviser said that initiatives for furtherance of education and scientific linkages, cultural and people-to-people contacts within the ECO would also be deliberated upon during the Summit.

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