British Foreign Secretary Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond MP called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif this morning, on the sidelines of Pakistan-UK Energy Conference in London. The two sides discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest particularly energy crisis in Pakistan and security situation in the region.
The Prime Minister shared with Foreign Secretary Hammond his government’s economic reforms agenda and challenges faced in the energy sector. He said during the last 17 months, Pakistan’s economy had shown improvement, with GDP growth rate reaching 4.1 percent. Prime Minister Sharif also highlighted the government’s energy strategy to produce cheap electricity by improving fuel mix and actively implementing its plan to reduce line losses and power theft. He added that the revenue collection had gone up by 16 percent and the government was focusing on lowering of tax rates in order to expand the tax base.
On Zarb-e-Azb, the Prime Minister highlighted the operation’s success in effectively eliminating most of the terrorists, who had either been killed or fled the area. To prevent regrouping of terrorists in Afghanistan, he stated that the Government was in contact with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and both countries were working together to promote peace and stability in the region. The Prime Minister also informed the Foreign Secretary that his government had a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and would continue working for the betterment of the people living in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Foreign Secretary Hammond lauded Pakistan’s economic reforms agenda and hoped that the government’s resolve would not waver from this course. He also appreciated Pakistan’s initiatives to work with its neighbours for regional peace and stability. Secretary Hammond opined that peace in the region was linked with energy security and hoped for enhanced economic collaboration between regional countries.
Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK attended the meeting.