LAHORE - President Mamnoon Hussain has said that Pakistan has been suffering for the war not waged by it, but by others.

Speaking to the participants of the South Asia Labour Conference here on Saturday, President Mamnoon Hussain said Pakistan was going to become the most important state of the region in the next five years.

He termed the Pak-China Economic Corridor a big leap towards the economic development of Pakistan in the coming five years, adding the country would become one of the most important states of the region.

Delegates from the Saarc countries, Sindh, Balochistan, KP, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Biltastan, AJK Prime Minister Ch Abdul Majid, Punjab Labour Minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar and several other ministers were also present on the occasion.

The President stressed the need for an extended cooperation among the Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries to counter the common challenges of regional differences, extremism and poverty which, in his opinion, could be tackled with their combined efforts.

The President expressed the hope that the conference would go a long way in providing opportunities of benefitting from the experiences of each other and ensure resolution of common issues. He called the conference unique in its nature, adding it was a big achievement of the regional countries. He also paid tribute to the European Union for awarding the GSP Plus status to Pakistan, but added certain elements were attempting to create problems over labour laws and other issues.

The president urged the Pakistani delegates to remind the international community during their participation in the events abroad that the problems of law and order or polio cases had not been created by the incumbent government. He observed the Pakistan government was determined to resolve the issues of labour and the working class for prosperity of the country. He said the Punjab government was going to announce its labour policy on May 1, which would help solve problems of the labour class. He remarked the past governments of Pakistan had created problems of poor governance and corruption.

“But now the situation has changed altogether as democracy is strengthening day by day and the government is attending to all problems with utmost sincerity and solving them,” he claimed.

Mamnoon said a big change was coming in the region due to an economic corridor from Kashghar to Gwadar, which would be equally beneficial to all the regional countries. He urged the nation to focus on education of children as they could strengthen the society in future. The President maintained the youth formed over 50 percent of the country’s population, who could be brought into the mainstream to perform as a major source in the national development.

The President also stressed the need to enforce the ILO and labour laws as well as other accords and hoped the conference would also be held in the other countries of the region in future.