Pak-UK ties to benefit people of both side Urge cooperation
01 July, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Britain, Sunday, reiterated their confidence in the future of Pakistan and UK relations, committing to intensive co-operation as equals towards greater progress and prosperity. Both the countries also agreed to find new ways to make the close and cooperative friendship beneficial for the people in both countries.
Pakistan and UK also declared terrorism and extremism as their common and global threat and expressed firm resolve to tackle the menace with renewed vigour with close cooperation of friends.
We value the efforts and contribution the UK has made in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan. We hope that the UK will continue these efforts to seek sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan.
"We believe that such a process should be inclusive, Afghan-owned and Afghan-led. I have assured Prime Minister Cameron of our firm resolve to promote the shared objective of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, to which the 3 million Afghan refugees currently living in Pakistan can return with honour and dignity", said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while speaking at joint press conference here at PM's House
"We are convinced that terrorism is a common threat and a huge global challenge. Pakistan has suffered the most in terms of human and financial losses. We are, therefore, resolved to tackle the menace of extremism and terrorism with renewed vigour and close cooperation with our friends" he further added.
Mian Nawaz Sharif said that he was pleased to welcome Prime Minister David Cameron and his delegation to Pakistan. He is the first Head of Government to visit Pakistan, since the historic democratic transition took place in this country. The people of Pakistan in the 11 May national elections have shown yet again, their unflinching confidence in democracy and the democratic ideals.
He further said that Pakistan and the UK had strong historic and cultural affinities. The two countries have shared objectives of peace and stability in our region and beyond. We consider UK as a close friend and genuine development partner. We greatly appreciate the UK's economic, education and social development assistance.
"Let me highlight the positive role being played by our over one-million strong community in the UK. They are a living bridge between our two countries and are crucial in realizing our goal in making Pakistan a vibrant country" he said adding, "The UK is one of our leading trading partners. We are committed to enhancing the current bilateral trade. There are enormous investment opportunities currently existing in Pakistan. I am sure that British entrepreneurs will take advantage of these mutually beneficial opportunities".
A close friend of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif said that Prime Minister Cameron launched the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue to further strengthen our bilateral relations. Prime Minister Cameron and I share a strong commitment to education for all. We highly appreciate the UK support for education in Pakistan. This constructive engagement on education will lay the foundations for a better future for our people.
While referring his meeting which took place before the press conference, Prime Minister said that they discussed the entire spectrum of our bilateral relations. "I informed Prime Minister Cameron on my Government's priorities and the objectives we have set for ourselves to improve the lives of ordinary Pakistanis. In this context, I apprised the Prime Minister Cameron about the austerity measures my government is undertaking to ensure fiscal discipline and address the challenge of energy shortages with a view to implementing my Government's economic development agenda" he observed..
He said that UK had a strong voice in the European Union. We are especially grateful to Prime Minister Cameron for his personal efforts to secure trade concessions for Pakistan in the EU. The lead taken by the UK in campaigning for Autonomous Trade Preferences for Pakistan is invaluable. "I have shared with Prime Minister Cameron our desire to be included in the GSP Plus Scheme in 2014, and expect the support and cooperation that the UK has always extended to Pakistan. Realization of the GSP Plus will promote our cherished goal of creating gainful employment opportunities for our youth" he said.
"During our talks we also discussed regional and international issues and realized that there are many convergences. We are convinced that terrorism is a common threat and a huge global challenge. Pakistan has suffered the most in terms of human and financial losses. We are, therefore, resolved to tackle the menace of extremism and terrorism with renewed vigour and close cooperation with our friends" he maintained.
While speaking on the occasion, the visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his confidence in the future of Pakistan, congratulating its people and institutions on the steps they have taken towards a strong, stable democracy
He also announced to reopen British Councils at Lahore and Karachi so that Pakistani students could benefit from the British Universities. While talking about close relations between Pakistan and Britain, he said that it was relationships between two nations and people which based on shared values and common ideals. He also expressed hope to increase volume of bilateral trade to 3 billions pounds by 2015.
Later a joint communiqué issued here said that Prime Ministers of Pakistan and Britain had reiterated their confidence in the future of Pakistan and UK relations, committing to intensive co-operation as equals towards greater progress and prosperity. They agreed to find new ways to make the close and cooperative friendship beneficial for the people in both countries.
As the first foreign Head of Government to visit Pakistan since the new government took office, Prime Minister Cameron expressed his confidence in the future of Pakistan, congratulating its people and institutions on the steps they have taken towards a strong, stable democracy.
Building on the existing warm friendship and confidence in Pakistan's economic future, the Prime Ministers focused on trade, pledging a new target of increasing bilateral trade to £3billion by 2015, up from the previous commitment of £2.5billion.
Over 100 British companies are operating successfully in Pakistan. This includes Mott MacDonald in infrastructure development; Unilever in consumer goods; and GlaxoSmithKline in pharmaceuticals. A major British company Orion Energy has concluded a joint venture partnership with Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) to utilise Pakistan's natural gas reserves to generate electricity.
The second annual trade conference will be hosted this autumn in London to encourage more companies to follow their success. Both sides will encourage strong participation from the energy sector. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif pledged his government's full support to creating the right environment to attract further investment.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif informed Prime Minister Cameron about his ambitious plans to enhance growth, create jobs and reduce poverty to create a brighter future for the people of Pakistan. There is now an opportunity to take tough decisions on solving the energy crisis, increasing trade and investment.
The UK will continue to play its leading role in the international community to support Pakistan to enhance economic growth, including through increased market access to the European Union. Under the framework of the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue the two governments will continue their regular dialogue on economic reform.
Looking to the next generation, the UK and Pakistan will continue to work together to help Pakistan's people fulfil their potential. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif reiterated his commitment to increase the number of children in school and quality of education in Pakistan, and welcomed a continuing, strong partnership with the UK to transform education in Pakistan. Prime Minister Cameron welcomed empowerment for the poorest through Pakistan's increased funding for the income support programme and also recommitted ongoing UK assistance for the programme.
The Prime Ministers acknowledged the positive contribution of the British and Pakistani communities living in each other's countries towards the development and prosperity of both countries. Prime Minister Cameron announced that the British Council would be opening a library in Lahore and a cultural space in Karachi.
The UK and Pakistan are committed to fully exploiting the enormous potential in their relationship through strengthening practical cooperation in ways that are mutually beneficial. The ties that join the UK and Pakistan in an unbreakable partnership are as strong as ever.
Prime Minister Cameron paid tribute to the people of Pakistan who had sacrificed so much and still clearly rejected the terrorist violence and intimidation. The UK will work in partnership with Pakistan providing expertise in support of Pakistan's developing strategy on counter terrorism.
The UK will provide more equipment to tackle the scourge of improvised explosive devices and support Pakistan in improving the security of its infrastructure, including sharing the UK's expertise in safeguarding sporting events.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif apprised Prime Minister Cameron about the ongoing Pakistan-India Peace process. They underscored the importance of peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their support for an Afghan-led and Afghan- owned reconciliation process.
Intensive, practical co-operation will capitalize on the growing joint opportunities on trade, investment, energy, and in the cultural spheres.
In the coming months, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Secretary of State William Hague will discuss specific measures through the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue which underscores the unbreakable partnership between Pakistan and the UK.
There will be regular in-depth dialogue between Ministers, including the UK Secretary for International Development Justine Greening on UK development cooperation, and Home Secretary Theresa May who will intensify mutually beneficial co-operation. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif accepted an invitation to visit the UK to carry forward the process of further enhancing cooperation between the two countries.