VALLETTA: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his British counterpart David Cameron agreed on Friday to continue close collaboration in different fields, particularly trade, investment and security.
The two leaders, who met on the fringes of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the Maltese capital, expressed long-term commitment to work together for greater security and prosperity of their countries.
The two reaffirmed their commitment to work in partnership for countering the shared threats of terrorism, organised crime and illegal migration.
Mr Sharif said Pakistan considered United Kingdom a close friend and a trusted partner and mentioned that bilateral relations were based on sound footing and strong diaspora linkages.
He expressed satisfaction over the Pakistan-UK cooperation in the realm of Enhanced Strategic Dialogue and said that ties had been strengthened by the refreshed roadmaps on trade, investment, culture, education and security.
He said Pakistan condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and was deeply saddened by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. He said Pakistan, being itself a victim of terrorism, could feel the pain of French people.
Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan was taking stringent measures for elimination of terrorism and extremism under its National Action Plan. He mentioned that Operation Zarb-i-Azb was nearing its successful completion after hitting hard on terrorists on the Pakistani soil.
He appreciated the continued support by Britain for the uplift of Pakistan’s social sectors, particularly education, and mentioned the assistance provided by the UK’s Department for International Development.
Mr Sharif said Pakistan intended to maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours, including India and Afghanistan.
Mr Cameron welcomed the signs of growth in Pakistan’s economy in result of its GSP Plus trade agreement with the European Union.
He expressed UK’s all out support for Pakistan in its pursuit for a strong economy and achieving socioeconomic development.
He lauded Pakistan’s efforts in eradication of militancy and extremism.
Both leaders shared views on the importance of Commonwealth and on the need for seeking the common good and benefits for all member states.
They also exchanged views on issues of global and regional importance, including the security situation in Middle East.
This was the third time that the two prime ministers met during the current year, with earlier meetings taking place in April and September.
PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and Pakistan’s Ambassador in Malta, resident in Tunisia, Zaheer Pervaiz Khan were present.
PRINCE OF WALES: During a meeting with Prince of Wales Charles Phillips, Prime Minister Sharif said that Pakistan was committed to the Charter of Commonwealth for the promotion of global peace, international cooperation and development of democratic societies.
Prince Charles commended Pakistan’s contribution to the Commonwealth and acknowledged the role of civil society in supporting its shared goals on human rights, rule of law and governance.
Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2015