British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called on Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif this morning and discussed various issues of mutual interest. The Prime Minister apprised Mr Clegg on dialogue with Taliban, relations with India, energy situation and economic reforms agenda of his government.
The Prime Minister informed that the dialogue with the Taliban has started. He said that he hoped and prayed the dialogue works within the Constitutional framework of Pakistan. He stated that the government could not wait and see the innocent people and members of law enforcement agencies being killed in the streets of Pakistan. He said the government was making its counter-terrorism forces and intelligence agencies fully capable to root out extremism and terrorism from Pakistan. The enhancement of the capacity of the counter-terrorism forces was a part of different options to deal with extremism and terrorism, he elaborated.
The Prime Minister also briefed Mr Clegg on the recently promulgated Protection of Pakistan Ordinance and said that it was specifically prepared to deal with those terrorists who were waging war against the people and the state of Pakistan.
On Pakistan-India relations, the Prime Minister said that he had made sincere efforts to resolve all outstanding issues with India. “We have made India bashing a non-issue in Pakistan but unfortunately Indian politicians are still engaged in unwarranted Pakistan bashing”, he said.
On reduction of energy subsidy, the Prime Minister said that some segments of society were not happy at partial withdrawal of subsidy on electricity but the direction of the present government was correct. During the next 3-4 years, new energy projects would start generating several thousand megawatts of electricity which would significantly reduce the demand-supply gap as well as the prices of energy.
Deputy Prime Minister Mr Clegg told Prime Minister Sharif that he and his government was full of admiration for his pro-active approach of reaching out to India before and after elections. He assured that the UK would fully support Pakistan’s case for GSP Plus in the EU market. Mr Clegg also appreciated recently introduced economic reforms agenda by the Pakistan government.
The Prime Minister appreciated UK’s support in various sectors especially education in Pakistan. Both the sides agreed to further solidify bilateral relations.
Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Minister of State for IT & Telecom Ms. Anusha Rahman Ahmad Khan, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, Mr Fawad Hasan Fawad, Acting Secretary to the Prime Minister and Pakistan High Commissioner for UK Mr Wajid Shamsul Hasan were present during the meeting.