Comprehensive strategy to overcome the challenges of terrorism and extremism

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said building Pakistan’s economic strength is an important component of the comprehensive strategy to overcome the challenges of terrorism and extremism.

He was speaking at a Public-Private Partnership Conference arranged by Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) here.

The Foreign Minister stressed that addressing the root causes of violent extremism, including poverty and socio-economic alienation, was necessary to defeat terrorism.

To this end, the democratic government of Pakistan had undertaken far-reaching initiatives, he said.

The Foreign Minister explained that the Pakistan-led FODP process was launched in September 2008 to demonstrate in tangible form the international community’s solidarity for Pakistan and to develop mutually beneficial partnerships to promote socio-economic growth and development. In this regard the corporate sector had an important role by forging joint ventures and business partnerships, he said adding Pakistan had developed such a strategy outlining short, medium and long term requirements.

The Foreign Minister said the public-private partnership provided an effective tool to accelerate socio-economic development, adding that Pakistan was rich in resources and offered countless opportunities for foreign investors in diverse areas to create win-win scenarios.

The conference was co-chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Bulent Arinc, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey also attended the conference and addressed the opening session.

The conference was attended by official delegations of FODP countries and organizations, and a large number of representatives of the private sector from FODP and other countries, as well as Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan reiterated UAE’s full support for the people and the Government of Pakistan, assuring that the UAE along with other FODP countries would explore all possible avenues to make the FODP process result-oriented.

He lauded Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices against terrorism.

He underlined that it was incumbent upon the international community to step forward and complement Pakistan’s efforts towards addressing the socio-economic challenges and speeding up its broad-based sustainable development in accordance with its national priorities.

Following the opening session, presentations were made on Pakistan’s economy, the foreign investment environment, and public-private partnership frameworks in Pakistan.

It was emphasized that Pakistan’s economy, despite multidimensional challenges, was showing healthy signs of recovery, which bore testimony to its inherent strengths.

Pakistan’s prime location that straddled South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, as well as its massive untapped resources had placed it in a favorable position to soon become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Four parallel sessions were held on energy, infrastructure development, agriculture, agribusiness, social sector, education and health. Detailed presentations were made introducing projects in these areas which the government of Pakistan had identified and developed for public-private partnerships.

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