ISLAMABAD, Aug 9 Pakistan has Vision East Asia policy, said minister of state for foreign affairs Nawabzada Malik Ahmad Khan at a get-together on the 42nd anniversary of Asean regional forum celebrated by Islamabad Comm-ittee of the Friends of Asean Community on Saturday night.

He said Pakistan had moved swiftly to establish and reinvigorate political and economic ties with all members of Asean.

The state minister said since 2004 when Pakistan joined the forum, it had established resident missions in all Asean countries with the exception of Laos.

He said Pakistan was a significant destination for 'investment' and the Asean nations should redress the balance of trade which at present was heavily in favour of Asean.

Ishak Latuconsina, Ambas-sador of Indonesia as well as the chair of the Asean Islamabad Community, hosted the reception.

Speaking on the occasion, he referred to Pakistan's membership of the forum and Treaty of Amity, and also expressed the desire to discuss a proposal leading to Asean-Pakistan free trade pact. “Pakistan realises the tremendous potential and has extended full support to this regional forum, which is committed to dialogue and peaceful resolution of disputes.”

As for its significant features, the Asean community, the oldest and largest organisation of its kind in Asia, has a combined population of 500 million people and its combined gross domestic products exceed one trillion dollars, Ambassador Latuconsina added.

The reception acquired the atmosphere of a cultural festival with songs and dances presented by a number of nationals from the Asean countries. A band from Indonesia played a number of items including a song 'We the people.'

The Asean way, the forum's anthem, was also presented on the occasion. There was endless wait for Pakistan's national anthem to follow the Asean anthem.

A number of ambassadors including Malaysian envoy Ahmad Shizan Abdus Samad, U. Tin Oo of Myanmar, Jim Yambao of the Philippines and Nugen Van Thuc of Vietnam were also present.

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