PARIS: Pakistan’s delegation of defence and security officials led by Secretary Defence Nargis Sethi, currently on a visit to France, held detailed discussions with French counterpart on matters relating to security co-operation between the two countries.
The two sides reviewed the progress on the implementation of the Joint Declaration, which was signed during Prime Minister Gilani’s visit to France last year.
They also identified various areas for security cooperation and underlined the importance of enhancing bilateral contacts and coordination in this regard.
The Secretary Defence informed the French side that President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani have successfully developed national consensus on Pakistan’s policy on war against terrorism.
The French side appreciated Pakistan’s role in promoting security and stability in the region and acknowledged the unmatched sacrifices made by the armed forces and the civilian law enforcement agencies of Pakistan.
The two sides also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and underscored the importance of peace and stability in that country.
In a separate meeting with her French counterpart Francis Delon, Secretary Defence Sethi informed him that Pakistan strongly believed that the Afghan issue could not be resolved through military means alone and, therefore, required an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.
She further informed that there was a national consensus against terrorism and that both political as well as military leadership were on the same page to deal with the challenge.
Secretary Defence offered her condolences on the recent unfortunate killings in France by the French national of Algerian origin and highlighted that terrorism has no nationality and transcends beyond borders.
Earlier, she called on Secretary General Foreign Affairs Pierre Sellal and discussed the whole range of bilateral issues.
She said Pakistan enjoyed excellent relations with France and would like to transform these ties into a long-term partnership to the benefit of the two peoples.
She also informed the French Secretary General that currently the Parliament in Pakistan is revisiting the terms of engagement with Nato/Isaf, adding that the process will provide the public ownership to this cooperation.
The delegation also discussed and reviewed existing defence ties and underscored the desire to enhance the cooperation in this field.
At the conclusion of two-day talks, the Secretary Defence thanked the French government for its support to the passage of concessional trade package for Pakistan and hoped that it would continue supporting Pakistan’s case for the GSP+ as well.