- Says issue needs to be addressed in accordance with the relevant UNSC and OIC resolutions
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar called on Thursday for international condemnation of Israel’s actions in Gaza, urging Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) member states to push for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Addressing the 16th ECO Summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the interim PM called for holding Israel accountable for its aggression in the Gaza Strip.
He further said the “incessant and lethal” Israel bombardment was “a deplorable act”.
“This issue needs to be addressed in accordance with the relevant UNSC and OIC resolutions,” he urged.
“I urge all ECO member states to push for a ceasefire in Gaza, support the call for provision of humanitarian assistance and rally efforts to hold Israel to account,” he stated.
While talking about the ECO summit, the caretaker premier said it was important to realise the goals and objections of the organisation to achieve them.
“The region if well-connected can bring colossal economic and peace dividends,” he said.
Meanwhile, the caretaker PM said that he was delighted that the next ECO Secretary General will be from Pakistan, and expressed the hope that all the member states will extend the fullest cooperation to the Secretary General and assist him in furthering ECO’s principle and purposes.
While terming Istanbul-Tehran- Islamabad corridor a significant development, the interim PM said that Pakistan is upgrading its rail and road infrastructure to facilitate trade with the neighbors and beyond.
“It is imperative that more border crossing points in the ECO region are notified so that trade operations are facilitated,” he said.
“The successful realization of the aforementioned projects would encourage us to spread and link up with other corridors in the region and beyond.
More importantly, such ventures will facilitate an enabling environment for the private sector to widen business and investment opportunities.“
The caretaker PM also shared that Pakistan has established a Special Investment Facilitation Council that will serve as a single window platform for multidomain cooperation including agriculture, defense production, IT, energy and mining.
Afghanistan has a critical role in regional connectivity, the PM said.
“Projects such as Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade (CASA-1000), Trans Afghan railways, Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) and others are not only merely economic projects, they are also strategic investments in our shared future.”
He added that Pakistan looks forward to working closely with other ECO countries towards the shared goal of building a peaceful, prosperous and interconnected Afghanistan.
“The ECO trade agreement quota is a landmark preferential trade arrangement.
“We urge all member states to sign a quota and thus help promote regional trade expansion.”
Pakistan, Azerbaijan review bilateral relations
Earlier, PM Kakar held a meeting with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and reviewed the progress in bilateral relations especially in the domain of trade, defence and energy.
In a post on X, the interim PM said that he had a constructive interaction with President Aliyev.
“Our trade, defence, and energy ties are growing. The launch of direct AZAL flights will bolster our connectivity.
Together, we address global issues like Islamophobia and climate change,“ he wrote.
On Wednesday, the PM arrived in Uzbekistan on a two-day visit. He is expected to attend a reception organised for leaders attending the summit and will visit the shrine of Imam Bukhari in Samarkand.
The same day he met Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The caretaker PM wrote on X that both countries were committed towards accelerating the Strategic Partnership Agreement and the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan railway for stronger regional links.
Founded as the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) in 1964 by the Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Türkiye, the Forum was rechristened as the Economic Cooperation Organization in 1985.
According to its website, the founding and fundamental goal of the Organization is to create amenable and conducive conditions for the continued promotion of sustainable economic development in the region, aiming at joint welfare and wellbeing of the Member States