Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday announced Pakistan's decision to join the Ashgabat Agreement and the Lapis Lazuli Corridor while addressing a two-day Global Sustainable Transport Conference in the Turkmen capital.

Prime Minister Nawaz addresses Global Sustainable Transport Conference

The Ashgabat agreement is a transport agreement between Oman, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and seeks to create an international transport and transit corridor.

The objective of the agreement is to facilitate the transport of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.

The Lapis Lazuli Corridor seeks to foster transit and trade cooperation between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey by reducing barriers facing transit trade.

It intends to develop a Custom Procedure Integration in the region.

"I would like to take this historic opportunity to announce our agreement in principle to join the Ashgabat Agreement as well as the Lapis Lazuli Corridor."

"I am positive [the Ashgabat Agreement] will be beneficial not only to Pakistan but also to the entire Central Asian and South Asian region and beyond."

The premier said "peaceful neighbourhood is a key pillar of [Pakistan's] policy", adding that without regional peace and stability "we will not be able to reap the benefits of regional connectivity and integration".

"Through integration of economies, markets and, more importantly cultures, which provide the doorway for peaceful co-existence, I have asked my relevant government ministers to approach the depository countries for an early start of negotiations in this behalf."

Referring to China's one-belt one-road initiative as a "game-changer", the PM said: "It aims to create the world's largest platform to integrate development of various regions in the Eurasian land mass."

He said the most promising element of this initiative is the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

"A package of multiple infrastructure and development projects that will boost connectivity in the region, help integrate South Asia, China, Central Asia and the Middle East and offer opportunities for hundreds of millions of people in this region."

Editorial

Ominous demands
Updated 18 May, 2024

Ominous demands

The federal government needs to boost its revenues to reduce future borrowing and pay back its existing debt.
Property leaks
18 May, 2024

Property leaks

THE leaked Dubai property data reported on by media organisations around the world earlier this week seems to have...
Heat warnings
18 May, 2024

Heat warnings

STARTING next week, the country must brace for brutal heatwaves. The NDMA warns of severe conditions with...
Dangerous law
Updated 17 May, 2024

Dangerous law

It must remember that the same law can be weaponised against it one day, just as Peca was when the PTI took power.
Uncalled for pressure
17 May, 2024

Uncalled for pressure

THE recent press conferences by Senators Faisal Vawda and Talal Chaudhry, where they demanded evidence from judges...
KP tussle
17 May, 2024

KP tussle

THE growing war of words between KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and Governor Faisal Karim Kundi is affecting...