Kathmandu, March 06, 2018 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s two-day visit to Nepal has not only provided an opportunity for the leadership of two countries to discuss bilateral matters but to also share views on issues of global and regional importance including CPEC and SAARC. In a meeting between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his Nepalese counterpart Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, particular focus was laid on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and China’s One Belt-One Road (OBOR) project, which was joined by Nepal in 2016. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi mentioned that CPEC was the visible and significant part of OBOR and had resulted in materializing of several development projects in the country including motorways, Gwadar airport, economic free zones and energy generation projects.

He said CPEC would ensure connectivity of regional countries with China and all Central Asian states. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Pakistan was ready to share experience and knowledge with Nepal on the matters related to CPEC. On Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, Prime Minister said the project was not confined to the gas supply only but was a flagship venture which included, railways lines and laying of fiber optic. The visit also highlighted the importance of continuation of democracy and Prime Minister Abbasi emphasized increasing people-to-people contacts and parliamentary exchanges between Pakistan and Nepal.

He said parliament was an ideal and appropriate forum as the democracy had been strengthened in Pakistan and was gaining roots in Nepal as well. He mentioned that the incumbent parliament in Pakistan was the second one in the country’s history which was going to complete its five-year term. Both the leaders shared similarity of views on eradication of terrorism. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Pakistan was not only a partner with countries fighting terrorism but a leader in waging war against this menace. He mentioned that Pakistan had successfully eliminated terrorism where other countries failed to do so as in Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister called for enhancing trade and cooperation on tourism between the two countries and the need to energize Pakistan-Nepal Business Council. He also invited the Nepalese investors to invest in Pakistan’s diverse sectors. On South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the two prime ministers discussed ways to reinvigorate the forum for the benefit of all member states. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Pakistan was ready to hold SAARC summit scheduled in November 2016, which was postponed.

He stressed that the potential of SAARC was not being exploited up to the mark and hence there was a need to hold the next summit on priority basis. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi emphasized that through dialogue, the countries in the region could achieve the fruits of progress, development and prosperity. The leaders also discussed the Kashmir issue and the ongoing human rights violations in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

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