‘Successful democracy in Pakistan vital for global peace’


Brussels: Pakistan’s democratic progress is vital for global peace and security, the 26-member global forum Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) has said.

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“The success of Pakistan’s experience in developing a strong democratic system, the welfare and well-being of its people, combating extremism and terrorism and Pakistan’s economic prosperity and stability were critical for regional and global peace and stability,” said a joint communique issued after the third ministerial meeting of FODP.

Representatives of all the member countries and organisations gathered in Brussels Friday to discuss the aftermath of the recent floods in Pakistan and a long-term comprehensive approach towards recovery, according to EuAsiaNews.

The forum was hosted by the Eropean Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

“A safe, secure and prosperous Pakistan is in the interest of the people of Pakistan but also in the interest of the European Union and the international community,” Ashton told a news conference.

The communique also noted “the need for continued efforts by the government of Pakistan under its reform programme towards economic stabilisation and sustained economic revival, including widening the tax base”.

“If we want the economy to grow we will have to put in a greater national effort in resource mobilisation. There are areas that have not been contributing and we need to broaden that base,” Qureshi told reporters.

The forum acknowledged that socio-economic challenges has been compounded by the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan.

It was also agreed that the Asian Development Bank, through a task force, will prepare a strategy on water management in consultation with the government of Pakistan.

Established in September 2008, the FODP aims to serve as a political forum to express international solidarity with the Pakistani people’s aspiration to build a stable, democratic and prosperous nation.

The Brussels meeting also welcomed Egypt as a new member of the forum.

Besides Pakistan, other member countries include: US, Britain, France, Germany, China, Australia, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Canada, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates.

The Asian Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, Eropean Union, UN and the World Bank are also part of the forum.