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Monday, 28 November 2011

Stable Afghanistan in favour of Pakistan, says Gilani

 Appreciating Pakistan's role in the war on terror, Britain has said that economic stability is necessary to effectively work as a bulwark against the tide of terrorism.
"His country would continue co-operation with Pakistan in multiple fields as envisaged in the Enhanced Strategic Partnership," said Sir Peter Ricketts, National Security Advisor, UK, who heading a five-member UK delegation called on Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at the PM House to hold discussion on the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue between the two countries.
The meeting was part of the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue between Pakistan and the UK.
Other components of the strategic partnership between the two countries are counter-terrorism co-operation, trade and commerce relations, financial macro economic stabilization, development assistance and cultural co-operation.
The Prime Minister was assisted by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, DG ISI Lt. Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir. Sir Peter Ricketts, UK Security Advisor, was assisted by General Sir David Richards, Chief of Defence Staff, Sir John Sawers, Chief of SIS (MI-6), Ambassador Mark Sedwill, UK Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and Adam Thomson, British High Commissioner.
The Prime Minister mentioned his meetings and joint press interaction with the British Prime Minister at the Commonwealth Summit in Perth along with Canadian Prime Minister, Australian and Nigerian President regarding polio eradication initiative among other subjects.
The Prime Minister highly appreciated the assistance of the UK particularly in the field of health and education that would go a long way to help the Government of Pakistan to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the Council of Common Interests, representing all the provinces including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit/Baltistan, had passed a unanimous resolution on setting the national standards of education and enhancing budgets for education.
The Prime Minister was highly appreciative of the UK assistance in the development of the economy. UK was one of the biggest foreign investors in Pakistan, co-operation in the various sectors of economy was progressing well, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister complimented the UK for giving generous financial assistance during the natural calamities this year, as well as in 2010 and in 2005.
The British delegation appreciated the recent improvement in Pak-India relations observing that surge in trade relations would definitely enable Pakistan to offset the fast approaching global recession which has already engulfed many countries of the developed world. Economic security is assuming added significance in the international diplomatic and inter-state relations, the advisor said.
The Prime Minister said that an Afghan delegation was coming soon to Pakistan and Pakistan would extend full co-operation in the investigation of the gruesome murder of Professor Burhanuddin who was a great friend of Pakistan. His murder was a setback to the peace process, the Prime Minister observed.
He further said that Pakistan was in favour of the peace process in Afghanistan, which was Afghan led and Afghan owned because independent, prosperous, stable and sovereign Afghanistan is in our interest.
The Prime Minister emphasized that Pakistan did not want a solution that would destabilize Pakistan as was the case last time when three million Afghan refugees had taken shelter in Pakistan and are still in Pakistan. "We want their early return with honour and dignity," he said.

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