23 Asian countries meet in Pakistan to mull union like EU

Dhaka,  Thu,  23 March 2017
Published : 14 Mar 2017, 20:57:18
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23 Asian countries meet in Pakistan to mull union like EU

Islamabad promises N arms responsibility
ISLAMABAD, Mar 14 (AP): A Pakistani government official says representatives of 23 Asian countries are meeting in Islamabad to talk about creating a regional block similar to the European Union.

The chairman of Pakistan's upper house of the parliament, Raza Rabbani, addressed the gathering on Tuesday. He urged the participants to take steps to ensure "that the destiny of Asia must not be directed by the capitalist Western" states.

However, with huge rivalries among the countries of the continent, the possibility of an Asian bloc similar to the EU is remote.

India and Afghanistan have both sent envoys to the gathering, which comes amid increasingly tense relations the two of them have with Pakistan.

Ramzan Sajid, a parliament spokesman, said the Islamabad conference is likely to suggest the formation of an Asian Parliamentary Assembly.

Meanwhile, Pakistan vowed on Tuesday to work to prevent non-nuclear states from gaining the technology that would put them on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons - even though both Islamabad and neighbor New Delhi have defied non-proliferation treaties to become competing nuclear powers.

The pledge was delivered by Sartaj Aziz, adviser to Pakistan's prime minister on foreign affairs, at a multi-nation conference on non-proliferation in Islamabad, attended by representatives of South and Central Asia, as well as China and Russia.

Pakistan is signatory to the 13-year-old United Nations resolution aimed at curbing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, with a particular emphasis on preventing non-state actors from getting their hands on massively destructive technology as well as materials.
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