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Pakistan demands latest military hardware from UK

13 February, 2013

LONDON: Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf exchanges views with British Prime Minister David Cameron during meeting at 10 Downing Street in Lo
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LONDON: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday asked the United Kingdom to provide latest military hardware to Pakistan.

Raja met his British counterpart David Cameron on Tuesday at the latter's official residence, 10 Downing Street. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed matters of bilateral interest, including the aftermath in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of NATO troops.

Prime Minister Raja asked his British counterpart to give military hardware to Pakistan. He appreciated Britain's role in helping Pakistan promote education and healthcare. British Prime Minister Cameron said Pakistan had made huge sacrifices in the war against terror and his country would continue to stand by Pakistan to carry on the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue.

Prime Minister Raja appreciated Britain's role in helping Pakistan promote education and healthcare and also for helping the country access European markets. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar was also present in the meeting. While describing his talks with Prime Minister Cameron which lasted beyond scheduled time, Prime Minister Raja said, "It went very well."

The meeting covered bilateral relations, transition in Afghanistan and Indo-Pakistan relations apart from discussions on matters of national and international importance. The British premier was assisted by special representative of the UK to Afghanistan Simon Gass, High Commissioner of UK in Pakistan Adam Thomson and senior aides.

Prime Minister Raja was assisted during the talks by Foreign Minister Khar, Paksitna's High Commissioner in UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan, besides Tariq Kiani, Brig (r) Hamid Hasan. Thanking the British prime minister for his keen interest and proactive role on the issue of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Raja reiterated that Pakistan desires a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. Pakistan, he said, is working closely with the Afghan High Peace Council so that all stakeholders are on board and the steps taken are beneficial and reinforcing.

The prime minister stressed the need to build up the Afghan security forces during the transition period so that they can take up responsibilities. During the talks, the British premier reiterated that "your friends are our friends, and your enemies are our enemies". Prime Minister Raja thanked the British premier for his country's support on the issue of securing GSP plus status for Pakistan from the EU countries.

He also appreciated the assistance being extended by the United Kingdom in the development of health and education sectors in Pakistan. Expressing satisfaction over bilateral relations between the two countries, both the leaders expressed confidence that they looked forward to far greater cooperation during transition in Afghanistan. Raja apprised his British counterpart of the investment opportunities in Pakistan and the economic reforms and policies initiated by his government to facilitate investors by providing a conducive environment.

Commenting on improving ties between India and Pakistan, the British prime minister observed that "there was need to open market to harvest economic bonuses". Raja Pervez Ashraf said that Britain has proved it to be a friend of democratic Pakistan. Meanwhile, Cameron, while hailing the recently concluded trilateral meeting, said that Pakistan's role was constructive and he would be visiting Pakistan this summer to carry the process forward. Earlier, Prime Minister Raja was welcomed by the British premier, who came out from his official residence to receive him.

End.

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