Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that his country is “ready to play its part” for the revival of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), media reports said.
In a tweet, he noted that today is SAARC Charter Day, “a reminder of (the) vast untapped potential of regional development, connectivity and cooperation” among South Asian countries, the Express Tribune reported.
Sharif said that the people of the SAARC countries are “victims of these missed opportunities”, adding that Pakistan is ready to play its role in reviving the organisation.
The SAARC Charter Day is observed every year on December 8 and this year marks the 38th anniversary of the association.
On this day in 1985, the SAARC Charter was adopted in Dhaka during the first summit of the group.
The charter was signed by the leaders of eight South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The objectives outlined in the SAARC Charter include promoting the welfare of South Asians and improving their quality of life as well as accelerating economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region.
Islamabad was to host the SAARC summit in November 2016 but because of tensions between India and Pakistan, New Delhi had boycotted the conference.
Since then the summit could not take place as under the SAARC charter meeting of the heads of government cannot be held if any of the members stay away.
Earlier this year, however, Pakistan had reiterated its invitation to India and other members of the SAARC for the next summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad, saying New Delhi could join the moot virtually if it does not want to be present in person, Express Tribune reported.