ISLAMABAD (APP): The President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik on Wednesday said wisdom based decision to extend China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan is set to deepen trilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiatives(BRI).

In a press statement, he said that it was a good omen that the foreign ministers of Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan in recent trilateral talks expressed their determination to leverage Afghanistan’s potential as a hub for regional connectivity.

He said three foreign ministers also emphasized the significance of ongoing projects such as CASA-1000, TAPI, and Trans-Afghan Railway, highlighting their potential to boost regional connectivity and promote economic development and prosperity in the region.

He said the ministers further agreed in principle to explore measures to facilitate the movement of people and trade activities besides boasting transit trade through the Gwadar port.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said, “A peaceful, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan is in the best interest of the region.”

He said, “It’s high time to further deepen and expand trilateral cooperation in the domains of security, development, and politics guided by the principles of mutual respect,equal-footed consultation, and mutual benefits.”

He said the security challenges must be addressed that pose a significant threat to regional and global security and directly impact the stability and economic prosperity of the entire region.

He called upon the international community to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation and provide the necessary supplies, equipment, and technical assistance to relevant countries.

He further urged the international community to engage constructively with Afghanistan acknowledging the efforts made under various mechanisms and formats including the neighboring countries of Afghanistan to promote dialogue and meaningful engagement with the Afghan interim government.

He urged the global community to support the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan to effectively protect the basic rights and interests of all segments of society including women and children.

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