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'SAARC resilient enough to survive for many decades'

Former Pak diplomat tells media in Dhaka

FE REPORT | November 25, 2022 00:00:00

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) isn't gone completely, rather resilient enough to sustain for many decades and will be full-pledged functional in time with like-minded leadership and political will, said a top Pakistani diplomat on Thursday.

"We should not completely lose hope, I do not endorse the idea that SAARC is dead," said Director General of Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad and former foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

Talking to reporters at Pakistan House in Dhaka, he said it (SAARC) is good platform and it should be kept alive with necessary political will and for like-minded leadership to take over.

He said countries nowadays can confront and make cooperation simultaneously.

"The world has become very complex and cooperation and confrontation are now coexistent, he said showing example of China-USA relationship who are confronting as well trading in goods worth billions of dollar.

"The developments in India are their internal matter, but we still can't ignore it entirely," he said adding that minorities are very concerned there.

Regarding a question on taking sides, either China or USA, Mr Chaudhry said Pakistan will make a balance based on its interest.

"Pakistan's relationship with China is non-negotiable, on the other hand, US is the largest trading partner of Pakistan," he said.

Former foreign secretary of Pakistan said indo-pacific strategies and QUAD initiated by USA were created to confront China and Pakistan will not be part in this.

High Commissioner for Pakistan to Bangladesh Imran Ahmed Siddiqui and former envoy of Pakistan to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the UAE Ambassador Asif Durrani were also present at the event.

Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry and Ambassador Asif Durrani are currently visiting Dhaka to attend an event that concluded on Wednesday.

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