PESHAWAR, Nov 26: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Monday called for serious measures on part of the US and Pakistan to improve bilateral relations and dispel negative impression of the people of the two countries about them.

He was speaking to US Consul General Robert a Reed, who called on him here.

Issues of bilateral interest and overall security situation of the province came under discussion in the meeting, said a handout issued here.

The minister said the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan should be on the same page on how to defeat religious extremism and militancy and defuse the atmosphere of mistrust.

He said restoration of peace in the province was a great challenge and the government had taken concrete measures to combat militancy prompting the militants to place leaders and workers of the ruling party on their hit list.

Mr Hussain said around 750 Awami National Party leaders and workers, including two lawmakers, had laid their lives in this war against terrorism. He said Pakistan was a frontline state in the war against terrorism and had suffered a lot.

He warned if Pakistan was ignored in the anti-terrorism war, then things would worsen.

The minister said Fata had turned into a virtual battlefield causing massive displacement of the local residents and that had made the holding of general elections in the region very difficult. — Bureau Report

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