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Y. Gilani: Address to Asia Pacific Summit 2018

Address to Asia Pacific Summit 2018, Kathmandu, Nepal, Nov. 30–Dec. 3, 2018


Honorable former Prime Minister Mahadev Khumar of Nepal, Honored Heads of State and Governments, Speaker of the Nepal Parliament, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor for me to be part of the Asia Pacific Summit hosted by Nepal. I would like to convey my profound gratitude to the people and the government of Nepal for hosting this summit.

Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of my delegation and on my personal behalf, I would like to express a deep appreciation for Prime Minister Hon. Khadga Prasad Oli of Nepal and the Universal Peace Federation for their warm welcome and for the leadership and hosting of Asia Pacific Summit 2018.

Nepal—with its serene environment, natural beauty, the mighty Everest and the welcoming nature of its people—is one of the most attractive destinations for tourists from all over the world. Pakistan enjoys historical and geographical linkages with Nepal. Your decision to host this summit in order to address the critical challenges of our time will go a long way in achieving common objectives of peace and prosperity for the Asia Pacific Region.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the world is going through a profound transformation marked by global development potential. It is in this context that the Asia Pacific has become the center of gravity. Over the years, Asia Pacific has become a leading player in the global economy with its emerging issues. This summit is taking place at a critical junction in our time.

As we march ahead to achieve economic prosperity for billions of the people, we need to identify the challenges that we may encounter. We need to be mindful of the fact that maintenance of peace and security is critical to economic growth because peace and development are closely linked. For an interconnected global economy, tensions within and with other regions can be devastating. Conflict prevention and conflict resolution should therefore be upheld above all.

Ladies and Gentlemen, regional connectivity is often of paramount importance for economic development and for peace and prosperity. For us it is a matter of great fight that we are part of Chinese leaders, regionally approach of man and growth initiative. We are right. When we began jointly pursuing China–Pakistan economic cooperation, contrary to propaganda emanating from certain countries, we made progress. The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) involves infrastructure development for power generation, improvement of old facilities, establishment of exclusive economic zones and connectivity. The people of Pakistan have already begun to receive the dividends of this project. We have no doubt that the Peace Road initiative and CPEC are not exclusive but inclusive ventures beneficial to the Asia Pacific Region. We must remember that the future of humankind is now interdependent; no part of our region can achieve sustainable progress in isolation. Together we can overcome our common challenges of terrorism and extremism.

The former prime minister of India has elaborated on terrorism. We are a front line state fighting against terrorism and extremism. That is not only for Pakistan but for the peace, prosperity and progress of the whole world. When I became prime minister, I ordered military operations against the terrorists. I saw no discrimination between a good terrorist and a bad terrorist. Terrorists are terrorists. They displaced 2.5 million people, and we brought them back to their homes in less than 90 days. That is historic. There were more than 75,000 people murdered: brave soldiers, police, law enforcement agencies, and others who gave their lives. We not only suffered in the form of casualties. I offer you one example, my own son. Because I ordered military operations against terrorists, after I was no longer prime minister, terrorists kidnapped my own son, and he remained with them for more than three years. Luckily he survived. Now he is member of our parliament.

Therefore, terrorism is a great threat. One thing more to elaborate: We have inherited 3.5 million refugees who are still with us in Pakistan. They married in Pakistan, they have businesses in Pakistan, and they have studied in Pakistan. We only need appreciation. Whatever we did for the world, we would like the world to appreciate that.

The Asia Pacific Region is gifted with enormous resources and intelligent people. By pooling our resources and sharing best practices, we can build a world of peace and prosperity, I sincerely believe that this summit will continue to provide a platform to constructive and innovative ideas beneficial to everyone. Pakistan attaches high importance to the Asia Pacific Summit. The summit has come to epitomize the hopes and aspirations for the people of the region: peace, progress and prosperity. The theme selected for the Asia Pacific Summit is very important. The focus on addressing critical challenges of our time through interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values is most appropriate and reflects our common desire for promoting mutual understanding and reaching out to each other to create a win–win scenario. The cultural affinity among our people should instill and cultivate the unique synthesis of culture and traditions. This summit must capture the imagination of the people and contribute to creating a strong and mutually beneficial future course.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I once again thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak before the distinguished gathering and to offer my ideas. Thank you very much.



To go to the 2018 Asia Pacific Summit Schedule page, click here.