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Pakistan not to allow use of its soil against Afghanistan: PM Nawaz

03 April, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said the government would not allow the use of Pakistani soil against Afghanistan.

Talking to the United Kingdom's National Security Adviser Kim Darroch, who called on him at the PM House, the prime minister said: "Our soil will not be used against Afghanistan and we support the democratic process in Afghanistan."

The British Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Special Representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan Simon Gass and British High Commissioner to Pakistan Philip Barton also accompanied the visiting dignitary.

Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz and PM's Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi also attended the meeting.The prime minister said that Pakistan believes in the policy of non-interference.

He said Pakistan was facing huge challenges. "The major issues faced by Pakistan are the economy, energy and terrorism. Our progressive policies have shown positive results on the economy, while we have taken concrete steps to overcome the energy crisis. In order to tackle the issue of terrorism, we have evolved a consensus amongst all the stakeholders for dialogue," he added.

Nawaz said that Pakistan did not want to fall into an arms race in the region and wanted peace and stability in the region. "There is a need to enhance investment in the social sectors of health and education and we have taken steps towards these ends," he added.

The prime minister also appreciated the UK's support for Pakistan in social sector.Kim Darroch said the UK supported the objectives of Pakistan's internal security. He also expressed his confidence in Pakistan's economic policies and added that the economy was poised to take off.

The British NSA said that his government was committed to providing more support to Pakistan in all fields, particularly for countering terrorism. He said Pakistan and the UK had similar priorities with regard to Afghanistan.

Supporting the ongoing dialogue process with the Taliban by Pakistan, he expressed the UK government's best wishes for its success.Sir Nigel Kim Darroch is a senior British diplomat who is holding the office of the NSA since June 2011.

End.

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