ANKARA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that Pakistan wanted to have friendly and good neighbourly relations with India.
Speaking to reporters accompanying him on his visit to Turkey, he said that even during the election campaign, his party did not adopt the policy of “India bashing” and ended this negative tradition.
“We [Pakistan and India] should maintain good relations and avoid involving in conspiracies against each other,” he said.
The prime minister said Pakistan was grateful to Turkey for its support on the Kashmir issue and also for its stance on Pakistan’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Islamabad, Ankara vow to fight common threat of terrorism
Talking about recent incidents of terrorism in the country, Mr Sharif said some elements who were upset with the progress of Pakistan were behind the current spate of terror incidents. He expressed the government’s resolve to eliminate terrorism at all costs.
“With our firm resolve, we will defeat those who are not digesting Pakistan’s success on different fronts,” he said.
The prime minister said that involvement of a foreign hand in terrorist activities in Pakistan could not be denied.
In replay to a question, he agreed that Afghanistan’s soil was being used against Pakistan.
He said Pakistan was in favour of stability in Afghanistan, which was also in its own interest.
He expressed the confidence that the final match of the Pakistan Super League and Economic Cooperation Organisation summit would be held in Pakistan as per schedule despite speculations.
On operation Raddul Fasaad, launched by the Pakistan Army against terrorists, Mr Sharif said the decision in this regard was taken, in principle, at a meeting held at the PM House.
PM Sharif and his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim said that both Pakistan and Turkey were facing the threat of terrorism and expressed commitment to close cooperation to fight the menace for the region’s peace.
Addressing a joint press conference after co-chairing the Fifth High Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting, the two prime ministers expressed the resolve to take strict action against terrorism and extremism within their countries.
Mr Sharif emphasised that “Turkey’s enemies are Pakistan’s enemies” and re-affirmed Pakistan’s commitment to stand with Turkey in its fight against terrorism.
Mr Yildirim said Turkey was making contribution to regional stability despite being a target of terrorism.
Pakistan and Turkey entered into 10 accords of cooperation in diverse areas, including hydrocarbon and solar energy, and financial intelligence related to terrorism financing.
Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2017