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It gives me immense pleasure to felicitate the peoples of the SAARC Member States on the occasion of 35th SAARC Charter Day.

The 8th of December marks the day when leaders with vision and foresight adopted the SAARC Charter and pledged to work together for the progress and prosperity of South Asia. This day reminds us of the enormous responsibility placed on our shoulders by our peoples, and their expectations from their leaders to address the common challenges of poverty, illiteracy, disease and under-development.

Pakistan is a firm believer in the strength and potential of regional cooperation for individual, national and regional development. Pakistan further believes that effective and result-oriented regional cooperation can be achieved only by adhering to the cardinal principles of sovereign equality and mutual respect as enshrined in the SAARC Charter.

I would like to take the opportunity to reiterate Pakistan’s commitment to the SAARC process and express the hope that the hiatus created in its continuous progression would be removed, thus enabling the SAARC nations to forge ahead on the path of regional cooperation for development and to achieve their full potential.

I wish the people of South Asia, peace, progress and prosperity.

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