ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan while reiterating commitment to the Charter of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on Sunday, said that Pakistan was a firm believer in the strength and potential of regional cooperation for individual, national and regional development. “Pakistan further believes that effective and result-oriented regional cooperation can be achieved only by adhering to the cardinal principles of sovereign equality and mutual respect as enshrined in the SAARC Charter,” the prime minister said in a message on 35th SAARC Charter Day being commemorated on December 8. The prime minister further reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the SAARC process and expressed the hope that the hiatus created in its continuous progression would be removed, thus enabling the SAARC nations to forge ahead on the path of regional cooperation for development and to achieve their full potential. On the occasion of 35th SAARC Charter Day, he also felicitated the peoples of the SAARC Member States. The prime minister in his message shared by the PM office media wing, wished the people of South Asia, peace, progress and prosperity. He said December 8, marked the day when leaders with vision and foresight adopted the SAARC charter and pledged to work together for the progress and prosperity of South Asia. “This day reminds us of the enormous responsibility placed on our shoulders by our peoples, and their expectations from their leaders to address the common challenges of poverty, illiteracy, disease and under-development,” he added. During the first summit in Dhaka, on December 8, 1985, the Heads of State and Government from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives, had adopted the Charter of SAARC which marked the beginning of a new era of regional cooperation in the history of South Asia.