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Thursday, August 20, 2009

South & West Asia Postal Union (Swapu)

Pakistan shares common history, culture and religion with ECO countries. In Postal Sector these relations go beyond centuries with few disruptions in between. The end of colonial are heralded a new under-standing based on mutual respect as well as keep desire to cooperate with each other to the common benefit of the people in these states. It was in the background of this historical past that a regional body under the name of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) was formed in 1964 to promote economic and commercial relations between Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. it was given a new name viz., Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) on revival after the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
Having been formed in the year 1977, the South and West Asia Postal Union (SWAPU) remained dormant till 1985 when with the revival of EGO it was also reactivated to promote postal cooperation side by side with collaboration in economic and commercial sectors. The aim and objectives of this Union were redefined as under:
- Member countries to form a single Postal territory for the reciprocal exchange of Postal and other services.
- Extend, facilitate and improve Postal relations and services.
- Evolve a common approach on important issues as far as possible.
- Introduction of EMS trace and track system.
- Establishment of joint training college.
- Joint venture in manufacture of postal equipment.
- Utilization of each other\'s printing facilities.
- Greater utilization of transit facilities.
- Joint conduct of quality of service tests.
- Promotion of philately to emphasize common heritage.
- Concessional rates equal to inland tariff have been introduced.
- EMS and fax links have been established.
- Money Order agreement with Turkey has been executed.
- Frequency of mail exchange has been increased to the maximum.
- The principle of preference to the National Air Carrier of each other has been accepted.
- Initial studies for consultants and experts have been carried out.
- Training facilities are being utilised to the advantage of each other.
- Regular visits of senior executives are being exchanged to maintain close liaison.
- Cooperation in philately is being expressed by simultaneous issues of commemorative postage stamps.
- Rapid custom clearance is being exercised.
With the joining of ECO by the Central Asian Republic, the membership of SWAPU is likewise to be offered to these states. Invitations for the purpose were extended to them at the time of first Congress of the Union held in April 1992. With a similar objective in view, Pakistan has also joined Regional Commonwealth of Post and Telecommunication (R.C.P.T.) recently formed by the states of the former Soviet Union with headquarters at Moscow. A Memo of Understanding covering postal sector has already been signed by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and similar cooperation with other states is already in the offing. These relations will grow as the aims and objectives of the ECO start assuming a greater reality.
To commemorate the occasion Pakistan Post is issuing a commemorative Postage stamp of Rs. 7/- denomination on November 18,1993.