Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said that Pakistan would continue to deepen and further strengthen political, economic and cultural ties with Asean and its member states in line with its ‘Vision East Asia’ policy.
In his message on the 53rd Asean Day, the foreign minister said, “Pakistan enjoys close, friendly ties with all Asean members and its historic and deep-rooted relations pre-date the modem era, harkening back to abiding linkages forged during the time of the Gandhara Civilization.”
August 8, 1967 marks the historic day when five South East Asian nations forged a common platform premised on the basic principles of cooperation, amity and non-interference.
Qureshi said, “This enduring and unique relationship finds expression today in Pakistan’s association with Asean as a Sectoral Dialogue Partner, and an active member of the Asean Regional Forum. We remain committed to upgrading our partnership with Asean to higher levels.”
He said that the Asean Community Vision 2025, comprising the Asean political-security, economic and socio-cultural components, provided a blueprint to further integrate, synergise and harness the immense potential of the peoples and economies of the region.
“In pursuit of this noble endeavour, we wish Asean and its members every success,” he remarked.
Qureshi also commended the Asean states for handling the Covid-19 pandemic and called for enhanced cooperation and collaboration among the member states for betterment of humanity.
“This unprecedented crisis calls for harnessing the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, embodied so admirably by Asean, for the greater good of all humanity,” he said.
Extending felicitations to the members, the foreign minister said, “Today, Asean is a dynamic organisation of 10 members, spanning over an area of 4.4 million square kilometres, a population of over 649 million, and a GDP exceeding $2.9 trillion.” (With input from APP)