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On behalf of the people and the Government of Pakistan, and that of my own, I wish to felicitate the SAARC Members States and their citizens on the 31st Anniversary of the establishment of SAARC and the 32nd Anniversary of SAARC Charter Day.

We celebrate, today, the spirit with which our leaders, entrusted by the people, worked towards the culmination of the SAARC Charter, and the subsequent establishment of SAARC. More than three decades ago, they committed to engage in a collaborative regional effort, geared towards delivering on the promise of a better life for their people.

While SAARC has, albeit survived, it has not triumphed as had been envisaged, falling behind on the commitments and the promises that we had set out to achieve: progress and prosperity for the common good of our people.

We, in Pakistan, continue to believe in the viability of SAARC. We are convinced that only through adhering to the principles of sovereign equality and mutual respect among member states, would we be able to guide SAARC to our cherished goal of a prosperous and developed South Asian region.

As its founding member, Pakistan stands steadfastly by the principles of the SAARC Charter. It was in manifestation of the same spirit that Pakistan had made all preparations for hosting the 19th SAARC Summit. However, the postponement of the Summit has deprived our people, once more, of the prospects of development, prosperity and regional cooperation.

I take this opportunity to reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment to the objectives of SAARC and our journey together towards achieving our shared objectives under its umbrella.

I sincerely wish all the people of our South Asian region, happiness, harmony, peace and prosperity.

Islamabad
08 December 2016

617/2016
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