LAHORE - An apex body of the region, on Thursday greeted all the Muslims of member states on the occasion of Eidul Azha .

Vice President of SAARC Chamber Pakistan chapter Iftikhar Ali Malik, in a message to his counterparts of member countries - India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka - said,”The Quran is a complete code of life and peaceful religion in the world that in unequivocal terms negates terrorism, extremism and promotes love, peace and equality irrespective of creed, colour, caste and religion.” He said a large number of Muslims were living in India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives and other parts of the region, who ought to look after the poor.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said the intra-regional trade figures for South Asian were disappointing as trade in the region constituted only 1.4 per cent of the total world imports and 1.2 per cent of exports, whereas merchandise trade was only 27.9 per cent of the GDP, the lowest in the world. This area was rich in natural resources which could make South Asia a hub of business activities, if properly used, he added.

He said, “Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his economic team is very dynamic and has offered plenty of excellent packages of incentives for foreign investors (in Pakistan), which must be availed by all (SAARC) member countries for the overall development in the region.” He concluded that allout efforts would be made to accelerate the process of economic and social development in South Asian countries.