Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan is ready to play its part in revitalising the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to tap the vast potential of the region.
His remarks came on Thursday on the occasion of the SAARC Charter Day.
“SAARC Charter Day today is a reminder of the vast untapped potential of regional development, connectivity and cooperation among countries of South Asia,” Sharif tweeted.
He also said the people of SAARC countries were “victims of these missed opportunities” and added: “Pakistan is ready to play its part for revival of SAARC.” SAARC’s members include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
The eight-member bloc has made little headway despite a lapse of more than two and half decades since its inception.
The rivalry between Pakistan and India is considered the main reason for stalling the process of greater cooperation among the members.
The 19th summit of the block scheduled to be held in Pakistan in 2016 was postponed due to differences between the two neighbours.
India expressed its inability to participate in the summit due to “prevailing circumstances” after a terror attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18 that year.
The summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate in the Islamabad meet.