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Regional integration holds the key to Economic Development :Abdul Basit

basit_Berlin-1BERLIN:“Pakistan attaches immense importance to its relations with its neighbouring countries as regional economic integration through enhancing all-encompassing connectivity will benefit all regional countries.” This was stated by Pakistan Ambassador to Germany Abdul Basit while giving talk on “Reviving the Spirit of the Silk Road: Pakistan and the Region”, organized by the Geographic Society of Berlin,today. Mr. Basit said that the relevance of these ancient routes had not diminished over a period of time rather had grown, though the realities on ground had drastically changed. Today, these routes hold the prospects of not only modern trade-ways but also to build better understanding among different cultures and religions, he added. Pakistan supported the international initiatives for the revival of ancient silk routes and had already embarked upon several mega projects. A rail link from Kashgahar to Gwadar would open even new economic opportunities for increasing economic integration in the region. Pakistan fully supported CASA 1000 and Turkamistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline (TAPI),he observed. Referring to Afghanistan, Mr. Basit said that three decades of political instability and two long wars in Afghanistan have badly affected the socio-economic development of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Long term solution to the Afghan problem lies in its economic prosperity and development of positive stakes within the region, he concluded. Earlier, President of the Society, Prof. Dr. Hartmut Asche gave an overview of the historical importance of Silk Routes and informed the audience that the term Silk Road (Seidenstrasse in German) was first coined by a German geographer and former President of the Geographical Society, Prof. Fordinand Freihrr Von Richthofen in 1877.

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