Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to regional cooperation under the umbrella of SAARC for promoting welfare of the people of South Asia.

He was talking to outgoing Secretary General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Arjun Bahadur Thapa in Islamabad on Friday.

The adviser said that due to several impediments and challenges, SAARC has been unable to fulfill the vision that was laid out for it by its founding members.

He said that the SAARC Secretariat could play a role as catalyst to bring all the member states together and ensure timely and effective implementation of program and activities that would benefit the region.

Secretary General SAARC emphasized the need to overcome the difficulties that the organization faced and expressed the hope that the 19th SAARC Summit would be held in Islamabad as soon as possible.

Earlier, Mr. Thapa also held a meeting with Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry. The Foreign Secretary appreciated Arjun Bahadur Thapa's contributions to the SAARC process and reiterated Pakistan's commitment to the SAARC objectives.

The Foreign Secretary also emphasized that internal and bilateral problems of member states must not be allowed to affect the organization and that 19th SAARC Summit should be held as soon as possible to put the whole SAARC process back on track.

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