Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday urged international community, particularly the United Kingdom to take notice of the gravity of situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK). India should be called on to respect human rights of the people of Kashmir and implement the UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, he stressed. The Prime Minister was talking to Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of UK, Boris Johnson, who called on him here at the PM House. Warmly welcoming the Secretary on his first visit to Pakistan, the Prime Minister expressed his confidence that under its new leadership, Britain would emerge stronger and continue playing an important role in the world affairs. Recalling his cordial meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May on the margins of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September 2016, Nawaz Sharif said that he was looking forward to welcome the British Prime Minister in Islamabad next year, according to a press release issued by the PM’s Media Office. Pakistan considers the UK a close friend and a trusted partner, he said, adding, our bilateral relations are founded on shared history, cultural linkages and strong people to people contacts.. The Prime Minister said Pakistan and the UK had strong economic and trade ties, adding, we are confident that our existing relations with the UK would be further enhanced to the mutual benefit of both countries, especially in the field of trade and investment. Pakistan greatly appreciates the work undertaken by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) that has created tremendous goodwill for the UK in Pakistan, he added. Highlighting Pakistan’s contributions in the global fight against terrorism, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan had been the worst victim of terrorism. We have lost over 60,000 lives and suffered huge economic losses in our fight against terrorism; we are fighting this war as an imperative not as an option, he added. The Prime Minister said, the successfully ongoing military operation ‘Zarb e Azb’ was in its final phase and the National Action Plan (NAP) had been launched to deal with the threat of violent extremism and radicalization. We are committed to take strongest possible action against all terrorists and extremists without any exception, he emphasized. The Prime Minister said that building close, cooperative relations with neighbouring countries, remained a key priority of their foreign policy. Pakistan supports an Afghan led, Afghan owned and an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan; we will continue to support all initiatives in this direction, he added. The Prime Minister said, We are deeply concerned at the recent developments in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the gross human rights violations by Indian security forces. Pakistan wants a serious, sustained and result oriented dialogue with India on all issues of mutual concern; the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains the main threat to security in the region, he added. Referring to the recent ceasefire violations by Indian security forces along the LoC, the Prime Minister said that India had deliberately escalated tensions at the LoC in order to try to divert the attention of the international community from the grave situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where the Indian occupation forces had unleashed a reign of terror committing brutalities against innocent and defenseless people. Appreciating the leadership role of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said that Britain will continue to be the champion of Pakistan in its region; Pakistan’s endeavors for regional peace, stability and prosperity are indeed exemplary. The CPEC is a landmark and fantastic dream being translated into reality, the Secretary commended. Britain appreciates Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s efforts for achieving macroeconomic stability; will support Pakistan in GSP Plus scheme, the British Secretary stated. Mr Boris Johnson congratulated the Prime Minister on the passage of honour killing bill and termed it as remarkable achievement of the present government. Lauding the visionary role of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the Secretary said, Britain appreciates and endorses the vision of the Prime Minister for reaching out to neighbouring countries for the sake of regional peace and collective betterment. The United Kingdom endorses and supports Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for stability, peace and development in the region, the Secretary stated. The Secretary congratulated the Prime Minister on improvement in security situation across Pakistan and said that UK is ready to support Pakistan in security collaboration. Britain is ready to boost bilateral trade between the two countries; the business environment in Pakistan is ideal in the backdrop of the stage set by the Prime Minister by turning around the economy, Mr Boris said. The Secretary assured the Prime Minister that he would be convincing the British investors for significantly expanding their investments and businesses in the diverse sectors of Pakistan’s economy. The British Foreign Secretary said that his first visit to Pakistan was an eye opener for him. Pakistan is indeed a wonderful country having great and dynamic people, and offering fantastic opportunities to the international investors, he added.
Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage