Modern Pakistani literature introduced to Turkey / Modern Pakistan Edebiyatı Türkiye’ye tanıtılıyor

ANKARA, 28 November 2012:  Launching ceremony of Colonel (retired) Masud Akhtar Sheikh’s recent book “Modern Pakistan Literature,” was held here today under the auspices of Writers Union of Turkey. Written in Turkish language, the book is a selection of short stories and poems by contemporary Pakistani writers and poets, both national and regional. 

Introducing his book, Masud Akhtar Sheikh said “Modern Pakistan Edebiyati” is the first book written in Turkish language to introduce Pakistani literary figures and their works to Turkish public. He said despite his old age, his love for Turkey compels him to contribute more towards bringing the two brotherly countries together with such efforts. Translating books written by eminent writers both in Turkey and Pakistan would further develop understanding and shall bring the people of the two countries together, said Mr. Masud.

The audience suggested more translations of the books of Muhammad Iqbal, Pakistan’s national poet and Mehmet Akif Ersoy, Turkey’s noted peot. They also proposed to name a street in a Turkish city after Masud Akhtar Sheikh.

Earlier Deputy Chairman of the Writers Union of Turkey Mr. Ahmet FİDAN introduced the author. Members of Turkish academia and media persons attended the event.

Masud Akhtar Shaikh is the author of 24 books. His writings include many literary works of eminent Turkish writers, such as Orhan Kemal, Necip Fazil Kisakü, Nazim Hikmet, Fethullah Gulen, Reşat Nuri Guntekin, Ali Nar, Yaşar Kemal, Aziz Nesin, and Ismet Bozdağ. About 20 of his writings are stories, poems and novels translated from Turkish to Urdu and English. Mr. Masud has also contributed over 500 articles on TurkeyCyprus and the Armenian issue.
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Turkish version
ANKARA, 28 Kasım 2012: Emekli Albay Mesud Akhtar Şeyh’in “Modern Pakistan Edebiyatı” adlı son kitabının tanıtma toplantısı bugün Türkiye Yazarlar Birliği’nin desteği ile düzenlendi. Türkçe olarak yazılmış kitap, ulusal ve bölgesel modern Pakistanlı yazarların ve şairlerin hikayeleri ve şiirlerinden oluşmaktadır.
Kitabını tanıtırken, Mesud Akhtar Şeyh “Modern Pakistan Edebiyatı” adlı kitabının Türk insanlarına Pakistanlı edebiyatçılarını ve çalışmalarını tanıtacak ilk  Türkçe yazılmış kitap olduğunu söyledi. Şeyh, ilerlemiş yaşına rağmen, Türkiye’ye karşı duyduğu sevginin, iki kardeş ülkenin yakınlaşmasına katkıda bulunan buna benzer çalışmalar yapmaya ittiğini söyledi. Ayrıca, Türk ve Pakistanlı tanınmış yazarlarının kitaplarının tercüme edilmesi, iki ülkenin insanları arasındaki anlayışı geliştireceğini ve insanları yakınlaştıracağını söyledi.
Toplantıya katılan okuyucular, Pakistan’ın ulusal şairi olan Muhammad İkbal’in kitaplarını ve ünlü Türk şair Mehmet Akif Ersoy’un kitaplarının tercümesini önerdi. Aynı zamanda, Mesud Akhtar Şeyh’in adını Türk bir şehirdeki bir sokağa vermeye teklif ettiler.
Başlangıçta, Türkiye Yazarlar Birliği Genel Başkan Yardımcısı Sayın Ahmet FİDAN, yazarı tanıttı. Türk akademisyenler ve basın toplantıya katıldılar.
Mesud Akhtar Şeyh 24 kitap yazmıştır. Kitapları Orhan Kemal, Necip Fazil Kisakü, Nazim Hikmet, Fethullah Gulen, Reşat Nuri Guntekin, Ali Nar, Yaşar Kemal, Aziz Nesin, and Ismet Bozdağ gibi birçok tanınmış Türk yazarların edebiyat çalışmalarından oluşuyor. Kitaplarının yirmisi Türkçe’den Orduca ve İngilizce’ye tercüme edilmiş öykü, şiir ve romandır. Sayın Mesud aynı zamanda 500’ün üzerinde Türkiye, Kıbrıs ve Ermeni konusuyla ilgili makale yazmıştır.

Pakistan urges D-8 countries to work for regional development

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 22 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari emphasizing the need for better cooperation among the members of the D-8 called upon them to work sincerely for finding the development solutions for their one billion people with focus on encouraging the free flow of goods, free flow of peoples and free flow of finances. Addressing the inaugural session of 8th summit of the D-8 countries here at Aiwan-e-Sadr, on the theme of “Democratic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity” after assuming chairmanship of the organization from Nigerian President, the President said presence of the heads of state and government of D-8 countries today reflects collective determination to use this platform for finding solutions.
President Zardari said people of Pakistan stand with their brothers and sisters across the D-8 world in pursuit of democracy, peace and prosperity.
Zardari put forward several proposals for fostering economic cooperation among member countries. He emphasized the need for Trade and Development Banks; encouraging private sector, facilitating contacts between chambers of commerce and investment houses of the member countries; simplification of visa and customs procedures and barter trade.
The President said, “We must grow our economies, and provide our people with jobs and security.” He said the D-8 has the potential to advance this agenda.
He expressed the hope that the initiatives being declared at this Summit will make a difference.
About the D-8 Charter, signed today, the President said it will cement the joint undertakings. He said the D-8 Global Vision will be a giant step forward towards achieving long term objectives and the Islamabad Declaration will build upon the roadmap.
He urged the members of the D-8 to endorse once again the core values of D-8; that include peace, dialogue and cooperation, justice, equality and moderation, democracy, rule of law and harmony, and peaceful co-existence and inclusion.
He said most of D-8 countries have already ratified the PTA and there is need to operationalize it without delay.
The President said D-8 countries represent a huge untapped reservoir that can serve as a catalyst for peace and prosperity around  the world.
He said, “Our people want peace within the country and peace with our neighbours.”
He said Pakistan is making unprecedented efforts to normalize relations with India and supports Afghanistan’s own roadmap for peace and reconciliation.  This is the vision of a democratic people that seek peace and prosperity, he added.
The President said one of the most serious threats facing Pakistan is international terrorism adding that terrorists, both from within Pakistan, and from abroad, seek to impose their agenda.
“We cannot and will not allow Islam to be hijacked and will fight for our values and will fight for the spirit of our great religion that our Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) gave to use,” he added.
President Zardari said, “We are fighting the terrorists’ dark and destructive vision every day. Our soldiers, policemen and political workers serve on the front lines of this fight.”
He thanked the outgoing Chairman of D-8, President of Nigeria for his leadership of the Organization during the last 2 years.
He said today, the D-8 is not just eight developing countries but all the eight countries have democracy.
He said, “We always shared common bonds of religion and culture. We are also bound, by the will and spirit of our people.”
He said the leaders of the D-8 democracies are answerable to one billion people of the region and owe them a journey towards a better future.
Giving the example of democratic process in Pakistan, the President said five years ago, his country began a dream and a new democratic journey.
“Our mission was to achieve a better future for our people and a future of better lives, with dignity, with freedom, with rule of law,” he added.
He said the presence of the leaders of the D-8 is a measure of solidarity with Pakistan adding “it gives us strength and hardens our resolve.
He hoped that the D-8 Summit in Islamabad will open new chapters of cooperation and understanding among the member states.  Referring to Pak-Turkey relations, the President said Pakistan’s deep commitment to and friendship with brothers and sisters in Turkey is no secret.
He said Turkish leadership, on economic issues in particular, has been exceptional and thanked Turkey for its support and commitment.
Commenting on Pak-Iran relations, the President said  with Iran Pakistan’s destiny is inter-linked. “We are neighbors and are located in the same region,” he added.
The President said, “We have worked closely with our brothers and sisters in Iran and will continue to support peaceful ways to help resolve disagreements between Iran and other parties.”
He said Indonesia has a long and glowing record of standing by Pakistan in its hours of need across many decades.
The President said today, Indonesia helps light path by demonstrating how to negotiate the challenges of growing an economy, while maintaining peace in a diverse society.
“Democracy and the struggle against oppression is something we also share with our brothers and sisters in Egypt,” said the President.
He said, “We were amazed as, last year, Egyptians took to Tahrir Square to build an Egypt of their choice.”  He saluted the heroism of the Egyptian youth and assured full support from Pakistan.
Congratulating President Morsi of Egypt, the President said “We wanted him to be here today. We are proud of the leadership he has shown. We understand the reason for his absence.”
He said Pakistan knew about the mortal threat being faced by Nigeria at the hands of Boko Harma extremist group and expressed solidarity with them.
He said Al-Qaeda affiliates in Pakistan, like the TTP, pose serious threats to  aspirations for the future and to very identity.  He said, “I commend President Goodluck’s leadership in a time of great complexity. We hope our countries grow closer as a result of this visit.”
President Zardari said Malaysia is a model of how diversity and discipline can drive a nation’s economy.
The President said together, the D-8 countries represent eight very important nations and individually, they represent countries with whom relationship goes far beyond the ordinary. He said for Pakistan the D-8 represents a partnership that can help cement these bonds.
Commenting on the present Palestine situation, the President said the people of Palestine continue to suffer the Israeli aggression.
President Zardari said, “We condemn the recent attacks in Gaza which have led to the loss of innocent lives. The people of Kashmir continue to suffer unjust occupation.” He said for decades they have been awaiting the promised self-determination adding “We must address these issues rather than blaming others, we need to take charge of our destinies.”
He said D-8 Business Forum, meetings of heads of central banks, trade promotion organizations and trade exhibitions are very important initiatives to help in economic growth.
He said there is need to encourage the private sector in trade and development banking among the D-8 countries.
He said there is need to facilitate contacts between chambers of commerce and investment houses.
The President said, “We also need to encourage interactions between our parliaments, scholars, students, judges, artists, media and civil society organizations and for this purpose there is need to simplify visa and customs procedures.”
He said most the members have ratified the PTA and there is need that others should ratify it and it should be made operational.
The President said Pakistan was achieved through democratic struggle led by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and adding “democracy is in our veins.”
He said when his wife and leader of Pakistan, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by terrorists in December 2007, this country came together to mourn, and to rebuild and that commitment continues to this day.
Referring to huge untapped reservoir of D-8, the President said reservoir can serve as a catalyst for peace and prosperity around the world.
He said the best way to harness collective potential is to put trust in the people of the region.
He said “Our people want peace within the country and peace with our neighbors.” He said the government is making unprecedented efforts to normalize relations with India.
“We support Afghanistan’s own roadmap for peace and reconciliation,” he added.
The President said this is the vision of a democratic people that seek peace and prosperity.
He said, “As we build the Pakistan of our Shaheed Leader, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto - a democratic, prosperous, peaceful Pakistan - we are proud to host this historic summit.”
He said from food security to climate change to demographic pressures, people are facing many challenges.

President Zardari stresses on conclusion of Pak-Turkey trade agreement

Islamabad:  November 21, 2012:  President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday emphasized the need for fast tracking the conclusion of Pakistan-Turkey Preferential Trade Agreement and creating facilitative mechanisms and opportunities for the investors and private sectors of the two countries to bolster bilateral trade to new heights and to achieve the mutually agreed trade target of $ 2 billion. The President welcomed the recent suggestion from the Turkish side to include mutual concessions within the ambit of the PTA. “It is high time to translate the gains of the excellent political relations between the two countries for qualitative up-gradation in our bilateral economic and commercial ties”.

The President said this during his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Aiwan-e- Sadr today on the sidelines of Eighth D-8 Summit.

Turkish Prime Minister was assisted by Mr. Ahmet DAVUTOGLU, foreign minister, Mr. Omer CELIK MNA, Vice Chairman, AK Party, Mr. Nukhet HOTAR, MNA, vice Chairman AK party, Mr. NurettinCANIKLI, MNA, parliamentary group Deputy President, AK, Party, Mr. Yalcin AKDOGAN, MNA, advisor to Chairman, AK Party, Mr. Cevdet ERDOL, MNA, AK Party, Mr. Mehmet CEYLAN, deputy Minster of development, Turkish ambassador Mustafa Babar Hizlan and other senior officials.

From Pakistan side, those who attended the meeting included among others Syed Yusaf Raza Gilani, former Prime Minister, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, foreign Minister, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, finance minister, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Watto, Minister of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, Mr. Qamar Zaman Kaira, minister for Information & Broadcasting, Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Mr. Jalil Abbas Jilani, Secretary foreign affairs, Governor State Bank and other senior officials.

Briefing about the meeting, Spokesperson to the President senator Farhatullah Babar said that the two leaders held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues, peace process in Afghanistan and the situation in Middle East.

The President welcomed Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Pakistan to attend D-8 Summit and expressed hope that the summit with its distinct trade promotion focus would further energize economic ties within the D-8 family.

The President said that by hosting 8th summit of D –8 countries, we commit our complete support to the vision of Muslim solidarity conceived by late Prime Minister Erbakan. He said that D-8 holds great potential to build on the synergies that exist between the 8 leading Muslim member states, adding that Summit has gained further importance as it was taking place at a time when the Muslim World was facing unprecedented challenges from North Africa to Afghanistan. The Spokesperson said that President stressed for a proactive role to ensure that this process of change and transformation is materialized in a peaceful manner and without causing disruptions in Muslim societies.

On situation in Middle East, the President said that Pakistan appreciates the democratic transformations in the Middle East and the broader Islamic World and believed that this transformation should be peaceful without resorting to violence, without external interference and in accordance with the aspirations of the people. The President expressed support and solidarity with Turkey on grave incident of shelling across its border from Syrian side in which Turkish citizens lost their lives.

The President lauded Turkey’s constructive role in Afghanistan and the valuable contributions under the ambit of the trilateral mechanism as well as the Istanbul process. The President urged the need for the two countries to intensify cooperation, both bilaterally as well as under the trilateral mechanism to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of reconciliation. The President said that he was looking forward to attend Trilateral Summit in Ankara next month.

On drug trafficking, the President said that both Turkey and Pakistan should play its proactive role and sensitize the world about the close linkage between narco-trade and terrorism in the region. Narco-trade was a great source of financing for terrorism, he said and added that Afghanistan would remain unstable and cause instability in the region and beyond unless immediate remedial measures are taken to eradicate narcotic drugs from the country.

Discussing bilateral relations, the two leaders expressed satisfaction on the current state of bilateral ties and agreed that Turkey and Pakistan enjoy exemplary relations which go beyond the governments and are rooted in common history, culture and ethos of our people. They also urged for early implementation of bilateral agreements signed between the two countries, which they hoped, would further deepen bilateral relationship in all fields.

The President during the meeting invited Turkish investment in key sectors such as infrastructure, housing, engineering, energy, agriculture, telecommunications and mining and said that it was encouraging that private sectors of the two countries are collaborating in the energy, construction, food processing and rubber industries.

On Gul Train, the President said that Pakistan was keenly interested in the project and thanked the Turkish Prime Minister for his personal interest in Gul Train project. The President expressed hope that The “Gül train” project would revolutionize cargo and transit facilities between our two countries and urged the need to formulate speedy border crossing formalities, harmonize customs procedures and generate cargo by larger involvement of the private sector to make the project a success. He said that Pakistan and Turkey together with Iran needed to take all the necessary steps to fast track the finalization of the key issues in the project.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Pak- Turkey bilateral relationship would grow with every passing day and touch new heights in the near future. He appreciated the huge sacrifices made by Pakistan in the fight against militancy and terrorism and assured all out support of the Turkish government in this regard. The Prime minister urged for close bilateral cooperation at various levels to further strengthen bilateral relations particularly trade and investment ties.

D-8 stands for prosperity by S. Rehman, The News, 22 November 2012

If one were to carry out objective assessment of Pakistan’s image abroad in the present-day world, one will be left with no option other than taking pride in the present leadership that draws inspiration from President Zardari’s mission to regain the lost glory that was once Pakistan.
May it be the president’s visit to China or other countries of the world including the countries of brotherly Middle East and that of Central Asia — or elsewhere — he is taking pains to present the true, moderate and modern face of the country. President Zardari is rather known for his extraordinary international bonhomie and although this cheerfulness owes to his individual psyche, it is never detached from his proven love for his homeland. As such, the president is always making use of his worldwide acceptability to earn prosperity for the country besides bringing it honour in the comity of nations. 
Those who have closely monitored Zardari’s functioning, opine that his policy of reconciliation is not a strategy. It is rather an extension of his established approach of life. And he has intentionally extended this policy of reconciliation to the global level. It is because of this reason that Pakistan has become considerably relevant on the world map. For sure, it is not because of its war on terror but due to its soft image that Pakistan has gained significance in the international fraternity. This soft image of Pakistan just can’t be tarnished by any acts of terrorism, courtesy the painstaking efforts of PPP-government in general and President Asif Ali Zardari in particular to depict the country’s true, humanitarian, moderate face before the world. 
This implies Pakistan’s strength and stability, a goal that the PPP-led government is pursuing vigorously by seizing every opportunity to promote global goodwill and amity. 
Even the eighth Summit of the D-8 being held in Islamabad, is seen as an opportunity for Pakistan’s greater strength and prosperity with the cooperation of regional partners in the developing world. The theme of the Summit is praiseworthy. The theme is “Democratic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity” and it underlines the importance of democracy as the fountainhead for achieving peace and prosperity for its people and promoting cooperation with the developing countries. Heads of state/government and leaders of delegations from member-countries will attend the summit. They include Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Malaysia will be represented at deputy-prime-minister level and Bangladesh at ministerial level.
President Asif Ali Zardari will chair the Summit meeting. The Islamabad Summit not only coincides with the 15th anniversary of the D-8 but also with the completion of five-year term, for the first time in Pakistan’s history, of a popularly elected civilian government despite so many impediments and perils. This democratic achievement of Pakistan has also positively projected its global image and it is going to get further boost during the D-8 summit that promises hope for the member countries, more so for Pakistan in many ways. 
On assuming chairmanship of D-8, Pakistan’s standing in the South block will be strengthened and Pakistan’s profile will get projection at the regional and international levels. It will also improve regional connectivity of Pakistan in the trade and business sectors besides enhancing its global interaction during its chair (2012-2014), with other organizations notably OIC, ECO and interface with ASEAN. Pakistan’s business community in particular views it as a golden opportunity for enhanced cooperation in trade and business among the D-8 countries because the private sector in Pakistan would be able to create networking with their counterparts in other D-8 countries, aimed at launching joint ventures and synergizing corporate and business sector representatives’ interaction with the private sector of D-8 countries.
Government of Pakistan has paid special attention to the active participation of business community which has been motivated through solid incentives and business-and-public friendly policies of the PPP-led government. This in turn will help Pakistan in transacting with the D-8 countries with a unified approach based on an ever-flourishing public-private partnership. This strengthened public-private partnership in Pakistan is taken for a big economic accomplishment in other countries and it creates yet greater opportunities for bringing foreign financial and technological assistance in the country. The Summit 2012 is poised to further its agenda of development cooperation among member-countries and it will consider and adopt, inter alia, the following on recommendation of the D-8 Council and the Commission:-
D-8 Charter, D-8 Global Vision for next two decades, Islamabad Declaration 2012 & appointment of new Secretary-General of the D-8.
Equally significant are the sideline events that would cover a wide range of activities including D-8 Business Forum, to be attended by corporate leaders/private-sector and eminent CEOs from Pakistan and other D-8 countries with focus on these themes: Infrastructure Development through public-private partnership in D-8 countries, Value-addition in textile sector & joint venture possibilities, opportunities & challenges in alternate energy sector and engineering sector and agro-based industries as future of D-8.
Other important activities will include meeting of heads of Central Banks with focus on identifying possible areas for cooperation on financial and monetary issues, particularly in the field of Islamic banking and meeting of heads of Trade Promotion Organizations (TPOs). The latter event’s agenda features exchange of views on possible areas of cooperation for promotion of trade, implementation of PTA and agreement on Visa facilitation for businessmen, and development of Halal Sector and capacity building of the member States.
A trade exhibition is also scheduled to be held followed by an Interactive Seminar.
Recommendations of the above sideline events would be submitted to the Summit for consideration including Report of D-8 Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry on private-sector led cooperation.
And it is believed that the Summit will also build confidence of the international community, in particular and help in removing misperceptions created in a section of international media.
Here, it would be pertinent to mention one landmark achievement of D-8 and that is its 10-year roadmap for Economic and Social Cooperation for the period 2008-2018. 
This roadmap sets benchmarks to be achieved in different areas. For instance, the roadmap envisages increase in intra D-8 trade to $ 517.5 billion by 2018. The D-8 has also finalized three framework agreements, namely Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA); Agreement on Simplification of Visa Procedures for Businessmen of Member States and Agreement on Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters. Pakistan has signed and ratified these agreements.

Welcome Remarks and Country Statement by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan at the 15th Session of the D-8 Council of Ministers

Welcome Remarks and Country Statement by the Foreign Minister
15thSession of the D-8 Council of Ministers
Islamabad, 21 November 2012
Bismillah irr Rahmaan irr Raheem
Honorable Ministers
Heads of Delegation
Honorable Secretary General
Ladies and Gentlemen
Before I begin, I just want to express, what I am sure is a sentiment shared by us all today about the events in Gaza. Some of my colleagues are returning from Gaza in show of solidarity.
The innocent people of Gaza are in our thoughts and prayers, and Pakistan once again condemns Israel’s aggression against the people of Palestine.
On behalf of the Government and the people of Pakistan, I warmly welcome you to Islamabad for the 15th Session of the Developing-8 Council of Ministers. Islamabad welcomes you with the best weather it has to offer.
Let me begin by expressing my gratitude to Secretary General Dr. Widi Pratikto and his team for assisting us in organizing the D-8 meetings in Islamabad. We must also express our appreciation of the work accomplished so diligently by the D-8 Commissioners during the past two days, especially yesterday as they worked till 2 am.
 The Islamabad Summit has a special significance as it coincides with the 15th anniversary of the founding of D-8. This journey that we started in 1997 has enriched our fraternal relations, but there is so much more potential that we have yet to tap.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The D-8 group of countries came together in 1997 because we collectively believe that a better future for our people is within grasp. We share an intrinsic optimism about the benefits of working together, reducing the barriers between us, and enriching the lives of the one billion people that make up the D-8 family.
As eight large countries with large numbers of young people, the D-8 forum gives us an opportunity to collectively reflect on how we can work together to break down the barriers to the free movement of ideas, goods and services and people between our countries. In short, we must come up with ways that will unleash the creativity and innovation of our young people, and fuel a bright and sustainably prosperous future.
I am pleased that the Islamabad Summit is the venue for the adoption of two landmark documents: the D-8 Charter and the Global Vision. These documents provide the necessary stimulus to our collective endeavors.
 To make the economies of the D-8 countries really ready for the next level, as envisaged by the D8 Charter and Global Vision, we will need strong and consistent efforts, not only from D-8 governments, but also from the private sectors in our respective countries.
To catalyze increased participation and interest from the private sector, we’ve invited business leaders, corporate executives, and exhibitors from your countries to participate in a Business Forum, a meeting of Trade Promotion Organizations, and a Trade Seminar. We hope these events will contribute towards forging meaningful business-to-business linkages among the D-8 community.
Pakistan’s own commitment to the D-8 process is reflected in the fact that we have ratified all three agreed framework instruments: Visa Facilitation, Customs Cooperation and the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). We strongly urge the operationalization of these agreements at the earliest.
Let me also take this opportunity to invite the businessmen and investors from your countries to avail of the enormous business opportunities in Pakistan. Opportunities for investors exist in the energy, agriculture and agro-based industries, mineral development, transport and engineering sectors.
We have one of the most liberal investment regimes in the world.
 Our greatest strength is our people. Pakistani skilled and unskilled labour is sought after the world-over for their diligence, competence and endurance. With greater foreign direct investment here at home, we believe our people can help businesses from around the world grow faster and more efficiently.
Moreover, given our substantial infrastructure and public services needs, this government, and all future governments in Pakistan have a natural incentive to support and facilitate public-private partnerships, that help improve the bottom line of investing companies and deliver real and tangible value to the people of Pakistan.
One of the most important meetings taking place at the Islamabad Summit is the heads of Central Banks meeting, which happens to be ongoing, in parallel to this session today. It is our desire that this process be institutionalized to identify ways and means of enhancing financial and monetary cooperation. We will be presented with the outcome document later in the day for adoption.
Honorable colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are pleased that Pakistan is hosting the D-8 Summit at a time when our democratic government is on the cusp of completing its five year term. It is our belief that democracy is central to attaining sustainable and lasting development.
It is only through democracy that we were able to secure the ownership of the people of Pakistan for the steps our government has taken to effectively address the challenges of national security and development.
As we move ahead with our national development agenda, we know that we can achieve economic development only in a peaceful and prosperous neighborhood. History has taught us this important lesson.
Our efforts are therefore directed towards bringing about peace and stability in South Asia and beyond. We have recently hosted the meeting of Afghan High Peace Council and will continue to support Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-driven efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
We are also engaged with India to build mutual confidence, expand bilateral trade, and resolve outstanding issues, including the issue of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
From the UN Security Council, where Pakistan is currently a member, to Human Rights Council, to which we were elected this month, to the OIC, Pakistan always coordinates closely with the D-8 countries and other close friends to advocate for the causes that are important for the Muslim and developing world. Last week, at the initiative of President Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan convened a Regional Ministerial Conference to work together to fight the menace of narcotic drugs and its nexus with terrorism.
Distinguished Heads of Delegations,
Ladies & Gentlemen,
I want to take this opportunity to commend the contribution of the Government of Nigeria as the D-8 Chair for providing outstanding leadership during the past two years.
As Pakistan assumes the Chair, it shall be our endeavor to further build on the ground covered so far and continue the cooperative spirit that guides our Organization.
As the incoming Chair, I wish to make following proposals for consideration by the Council:
· Operationalize all three of the framework agreements i.e. Preferential Trade Agreement, agreement on simplification of visa procedures for the businessmen of D-8 member states and multilateral agreement on administrative assistance in customs matters
· Evolve a mechanism to intensify interaction of private sector by regularly holding sector-specific Business Forums. D-8 Commission to identify sectors within the agreed priority parameters.
· Given the high importance of energy sector, hold periodic meetings of energy experts covering all sectors, and explore means to exchange information on projects available for public-private partnerships.
· Place special emphasis on cooperation in developing light engineering sector.
· Establish a mechanism for sharing investment opportunities in the mineral development sectors of our countries to explore vast untapped resources.
· Convene regular periodic meetings of investment promotion agencies for sharing best practices and for working on Memorandum of Understanding on Investment Promotion among the D-8 Countries.
· Focus on Halal sector. D-8 Commission may undertake a study for promoting Halal sector, in particular harmonization of accreditation and certification issues and to report at the next meeting of the Council.
· Institutionalize the meetings of Trade Promotion Organizations, to be held biennially to monitor progress on the acceleration of trade among the D-8 community and achievement of targets set in the Roadmap for the Second Decade of Cooperation, and
· Coordinate our position on issues of common concerns at international fora, in particular at the United Nations.
The socio-economic challenges are indeed daunting, but I believe that our will to overcome those challenges is stronger. With determination, we can surmount these challenges and achieve desired results for the socio economic development of our countries.
I thank you and once again hope you have a most pleasant stay in Pakistan.

Speech of Prime Minister of Pakistan at D-8 Business Forum

Speech of Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
At D-8 Business Forum
(IslamabadNovember 20, 2012)
Senator Saleem H. Mandviwala
Minister of State for Finance
Secretary General of Developing 8
President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce & Industry
Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani, President of Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry 

Secretary General, D-8 Federation of Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

I am delighted to be here at the auspicious occasion of the 7th D-8 Business Forum, organized jointly by the Board of Investment and Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI).
On behalf of the people and Government of Pakistan and on my own behalf, it is an honour and privilege to warmly welcome our distinguished guests from D-8 countries to Islamabad.
I wish you a comfortable and pleasant stay.
Distinguished delegates,
D-8 is a reflection of the solemn pledge we made to our people 15 years ago to make their lives better; A life free from the shackles of poverty.
Your presence here is a testimony that we stand by our word.
The same resolve will one day lead us to our goal.
Your presence here is also a reflection of the growing interest of the business communities in promoting trade among the D-8 countries.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
The D-8 grouping is one of the most diversified clusters of developing countries. It is a unique platform to identify new opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.
Our Group’s strategic positioning, its diversity and unique institutional framework provide the capacity to develop vast human and natural resources.
The expanding network of relationships between the countries of the D-8 has created tremendous opportunities for business to flourish and gain a sure foothold.
Distinguished Guests,
The D-8 Business Forum has the potential to create entrepreneurial synergies leading to increased wealth and prosperity of our people.
Since its inception, trade volume of the D-8 member countries has increased from USD 433 billion in 1997 to USD 1.725 trillion in 2011.
This reflects more than 20 percent annual growth confirming their trade potential.
However, the Intra D-8 trade was USD 130 billion in 2011, which was 7.5 percent of the total trade of D-8 trade bloc.
The bilateral trade and investment among D-8 member countries is yet to reach its full potential.
It is, nevertheless, heartening to note that the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) has entered into force.
This is a significant milestone towards economic integration among the D-8.
Expeditious implementation will help us achieve our intra D-8 trade target of USD 500 billion by 2018.  
It is also encouraging that since the inception of D-8 bloc, member countries have been working together without imposing any adverse impact on bilateral and multilateral commitments of its members.
All member countries have undertaken reforms, liberalized markets and integrated better in the world economy.
The GDP growth rate of D-8 countries averages around 6%, with one member state (Turkey) registering 9% growth rate.
In most of the D-8 countries, the private sector has become the driving force of the economy.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
We have, time and again, reaffirmed the crucial role of the private sector in achieving the objectives of D-8 cooperation.
Sages of all hues have concluded that government is the enabler but the doer is the private entrepreneur.
In this context, we need to create an enabling environment with strong public-private partnership to achieve our collective goal of economic development.
The current dynamism and diversity in our economic relationship reflects a firm commitment to build a broad spectrum of trade and investment activities.
Yet the critical step forward is to build a focused roadmap towards closer economic integration.
Our previous interactions, held from time to time at this forum, have always been fruitful and productive.
I am certain that the present session will help us conclude concrete proposals to augment our economic relations.
It will also enable us to finalize a workable action plan for future cooperation in the fields of trade and investment.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Pakistan’s strategic and geographic location as an international corridor provides huge opportunities for investment and trade in profitable sectors.
The Government of Pakistan attaches high priority to private sector investment especially foreign private investment.
It is an integral component for restructuring and revitalization of our national economy.
The unexplored economic potential of Pakistan offers countless developmental, trade and industrialization opportunities for the business community.
Foreign investors seeking a competitive manufacturing environment, healthy returns and skilled human resource in a growing market, can tap the vast opportunities available in the country.
Let me take this opportunity to assure you that Pakistan’s economy is stable and our economic policies are transparent and predictable.
Expatriate Pakistanis are bringing their capital back home.
Pakistan’s credit rating in international capital markets has improved in the last few years.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Business and entrepreneurship offer opportunities to ordinary people to contribute towards their own betterment, as well as of their fellow citizens.
We are fully aware that business thrives in free societies and Laissez Faire.
We have, therefore, strengthened the roots of democracy in Pakistan and ensured minimal interference of the government in private entrepreneurship.
Implementation of free trade policies in the recent past emphasized the importance of economic integration. Trade agreements, trade diplomacy, and greater role of private sector are shaping up our economic trajectory.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the present era of globalization, where economic strength is defining the standing of a country, the role of trade bodies has assumed high importance.
The flow of investment, mobility of labour and capital, patterns of business financing and the strength of business institutions determine the future of a society.
Today, trade bodies have to play an important and unconventional role of contributing to the employment generating activities.
They also help the national exchequer.
And build up of foreign exchange reserves.
In short, they have a key role in accelerating the over-all economy of the country.
I would like to congratulate FPCCI, which has been entrusted with the chairmanship of D-8 FCCI for the next two years.
It is a recognition of the commitment of FPCCI in general, and of its President, in particular, towards enhancement of mutual cooperation among the D-8 business communities.
I am confident that FPCCI will play its leadership role in a proactive manner.
I hope it leaves new footprints to be followed by other national and international business chambers.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On this occasion, I would like to assure you of the Government’s support to strengthen economic relations among the D-8 bloc.
I am positive that deliberations in the working sessions will generate tangible outcomes for the socio-economic uplift of our people in the days to come.
I wish you all success and a very productive stay in Pakistan.
Thank you.
Pakistan Paindabad!