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Pakistan won't allow its territory used against Afghanistan: PM Nawaz

01 May, 2014

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LONDON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated on Wednesday that Pakistan was fully committed to eliminating the menace of terrorism from its soil and would never allow use of its territory against any country, including Afghanistan.

The prime minister, who is on a three-day official visit to the United Kingdom on the invitation of Prime Minister David Cameron, had a meeting with his British counterpart at 10 Downing Street and discussed matters of bilateral interest, the regional situation as well as other issues of international importance. Nawaz Sharif recalled the visit of British premier to Pakistan last year and said he was in the UK to reciprocate the sentiments expressed by David Cameron for Pakistan during his visit.

Prime Minister Nawaz said Pakistan had suffered a lot due to the menace of terrorism and extremism, and was determined to tackle it, as part of its national policy that has been formulated recently. He also appreciated the continued support and assistance by the UK's Department for International Development to the country and said the people of Pakistan were grateful for this support. David Cameron warmly welcomed Nawaz Sharif and reiterated UK's all-out support to Pakistan in its pursuit to strengthen economy and achieve socio-economic development.

He also backed the Pakistani government's efforts to combat terrorism and extremism. During the meeting, the two sides discussed the current level of bilateral ties in various areas, including trade and economy, and renewed their commitment to further strengthen these relations.

The two prime ministers reaffirmed the strong bonds of friendship and partnership between Pakistan and the UK. They underscored their commitment to support the UK-Pakistan relationship by agreeing to open a new British Deputy High Commission in Lahore.

This is Prime Minister Nawaz's first official bilateral visit to the UK since Pakistan's landmark elections in May 2013. Prime Minister Nawaz is also meeting the British foreign secretary, home secretary, defence secretary, secretary of state for international development and will deliver a keynote address at the Pakistan Investment Conference.

The visit marks the launch of a UK-Pakistan cultural and education cooperation "roadmap", which sets out the basis of cultural engagement between Pakistan and the UK, enables collaboration on a calendar of cultural engagement for the next three years, and builds on elements of the strong existing UK-Pakistan relationship on education.


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