ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday said that Pakistan was committed to defeat terrorism, corruption and organised crimes by jointly working with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation member countries.

Addressing the inaugural session of the SAARC Interior/ Home Ministers’ Conference here, Nawaz cited Pakistan’s anti-terror operations in Tribal Areas and National Action Plan to emphasise the government’s determination to eliminate the scourge of terrorism.

He said that SAARC region was blessed with tremendous human and natural resources.

“So, SAARC can and should provide a platform to optimally harness the regional potential for peace and prosperity of our people,” he added.

Nawaz said that such an approach was in sync with his government’s vision of peace for development and peaceful neighbourhood.

“Pakistan has always been supportive of initiatives taken by SAARC to advance its ideals and objectives as enshrined in its charter,” he said.

He said that Pakistan had also been strong advocate of stepping up regional efforts to ensure energy security through sharing of indigenous sources.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan shared the perception that connectivity is critical to the progress and prosperity of the region and supports, in principle, road, air, rail and water connectivity within the region.

“Realisation of the goals and objectives envisaged in SAARC charter is our collective responsibility,” he said.

Addressing the inaugural session, SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa said there was a need to take effective measures to tackle the menace of terrorism, narcotics, cybercrimes and other transnational crimes.

The day-long 7th meeting of the eight-member grouping is being held to review the progress on decisions taken in previous meetings. SAARC comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, yesterday, SAARC Interior Ministers called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here.

SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa led the delegation.

Matters relating to promotion of bilateral relations among SAARC member States

came under discussion during the meeting, said an official statement.

Separately yesterday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed the resolve of the government to work with new spirit in the next two years for the welfare of the people and development of the country.

Chairing the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Parliamentary party meeting here, he said: “we have to speed up the work during remaining two years of government’s tenure.”

The Prime Minister said that record showed that PML-N was doing the politics of development.

He said that alongwith present, we are also determined for a bright future of the country.

He said that people fully know who is doing the politics of development and who is doing politics of chaos.

Nawaz said that the PML-N achieved a historic success in recently held Azad Jammu Kashmir elections.

Earlier, he said that in Gilgit Baltistan and Local Bodies elections people had expressed confidence in PML-N and its leadership. He said people had also voted for the party in Cantonment Boards elections.

The Prime Minister said when the PML-N came into power in 2013, there were three major challenges before us to eliminate terrorism, improve economy and overcome energy shortage.

He said that terrorism had been eliminated to a larger extent.

He said that the backbone of terrorism has been broken through operation Zarb Azb.

The Prime Minister said as a result of prudent government’s policies, Pakistan was one of the emerging economies which was acknowledged by the international financial institutions and rating agencies.