Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..
ASHGABAT (Turkmenistan), Nov 26 (Editor's Desk + APP): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Saturday said the regional connectivity and economic integration were the key pillars of Pakistan's foreign policy and playing a role of gateway to the Central Asia.

Addressing the two-day Global Sustainable Transport Conference, he said in the emerging global and regional  environment, Pakistan was happy to play its role as gateway to the Central Asia.

The Prime Minister said the peaceful neighbourhood has remained the norm of Pakistan`s foreign policy and no development policies could yield fruit without peace and security. He said Pakistan was fully committed to its responsibilities as a partner in regional and economic integration.

With projects like China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Pakistan has enhanced its geo-strategic location into a geo-economic advantage, he added.

The Prime Minister said the CPEC was a package of multiple infrastructure and development projects and would boost connectivity within the region and integrate China, Central Asia, South Asia and Middle East.

He said 21st century was the century of connectivity and without adequate internal and regional communication networks, countries would lag behind in progress.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said with mutual understanding and collective endeavors, they would be able to deliver on the promise of peace, prosperity and development of their peoples.

He announced Pakistan's joining of Ashgabat Agreement and Lapis Lazuli Corridor. He hoped that the agreement would prove milestone in achieving the dream of peaceful co-existence through integration of economies, markets and cultures in South Asia, Central Asia and beyond.

Addressing the conference, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said the modern transport was helpful in stabilizing global relations at regional and national levels.

He said Turkmenistan was pursuing effective policy for developing the transport system and has presented two drafts in the General Assembly.

Advisor to PM on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi, Advisor to PM Irfan ul Haque Siddiqui and ambassador of Pakistan to Turkmenistan were also present.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his address said modern transportation was imperative for bolstering international relations and overall progress of the global community.

Earlier, the Prime Minister also visited the Monument of Independence and laid a wreath.

 Prime Minister Muhammad  Nawaz Sharif on Saturday returned after concluding his  two-day visit to Turkmenistan.The Prime Minister visited Turkmenistan at the  invitation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. 

During his stay in Ashgabat, the Prime Minister  led Pakistan delegation to the first ever Global  Conference on Sustainable Transport which was held  under the auspices of the United Nations.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Turkmenistan  co-hosted the Conference and attended by around 1,500  participants, including Heads of State, Government, Ministers, private sector CEOs, civil society leaders  and the UN officials. 

The Conference discussed promotion and role of sustainable transport towards achievement of the 2030  Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Prime Minister held a bilateral meeting with  the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov  to dicuss bilateral ties.

On the sidelines of conference, the Prime Minister  also held a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.