LONDON: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi briefed the Commonwealth countries about the measures being taken by the government to streamline the country’s overall system especially in the field of economy to make a self-reliance and self-sufficient structure.
He led the delegation of his country to the Extraordinary Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting (CFAMM), held in London today (Wednesday). The meeting was convened to mark the 70th anniversary of the London Declaration, which marked the creation of the Commonwealth of Nations. The Meeting was chaired by the UK in its capacity as the current Chair-in-Office.
The Foreign Ministers of the member states discussed matters of collective interest and deliberated upon the role of Commonwealth in economic development, governance and social development to realize the shared vision of a fairer, a more prosperous, a more sustainable and a more secure future.
Expressing Pakistan’s commitment to deliver on the vision of the Commonwealth, Foreign Minister Qureshi briefed the meeting on steps taken towards building sustainable institutions and inclusive society, internalizing good governance and mainstreaming gender parity. He stated that rule of law, eradication of corruption; economic development and social justice are key priorities of the government for long term and sustainable growth.
Speaking on gender equality, the Foreign Minister shared that there is an ever-growing number of Pakistani women entering our work force and government has introduced legislation to protect the rights of women and their economic and social empowerment. Pakistan is cognizant of its human rights obligations and takes its commitment to the minorities very seriously, added the Foreign Minister.
Giving an overview of economic reforms of the government, Foreign Minister Qureshi stated that Pakistan believes in people-centric development. The Foreign Minister also highlighted the special focus of Prime Minister Imran Khan on youth and the various programmes that have been started for economic uplift.
On China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Foreign Minister said the project is fast reaching fruition and will make Pakistan a regional hub for economic activity. He further apprised the Commonwealth Ministers on Pakistan’s National Development Strategy -Vision 2025 – remains fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Government has recently launched a comprehensive program for poverty alleviation called ‘Ehsaas’ that would focus on areas hit by the Afghan war, the Foreign Minister said.
Mr. Qureshi briefed the delegates on Pakistan’s successful fight against extremism and terrorism and the measures taken by the government against hate speech, violent extremism, money laundering and terror financing.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth, the Foreign Minister also announced issuance of a commemorative postage stamp by Pakistan as an expression of solidarity with the Organization. Pakistan stood out as the only member state to have launched this initiative, which was highly appreciated by all the delegates.
The Foreign Minister also interacted with the Foreign Ministers of other Commonwealth countries. Pakistan is one of the founding members of the Commonwealth. The Annual Commonwealth Foreign Ministers Meeting (CFAMM) mechanism was established to provide political oversight and guidance for implementation of mandates agreed by leaders in the period between Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGMs). Its meetings are held annually.