UK assures Pakistan economic cooperation, seeks support in Afghan-led peace process: Hague

The UK expects Pakistan to assist the Afghan led peace process.


June 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and UK resolved to further strengthen and deepen bilateral relations and cooperation in the diverse areas. Both sides agreed to increase bilateral trade volume to £ 2.5 billion by 2015.

UK reiterated to continue with Pakistan in developing and assisting education, health, economic, defence and social sector of Pakistan. This was informed by the Minister of State on Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar today while addressing to a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague following a delegation level talks between the two sides at Foreign Office on Thursday.

Ms Khar appreciated UK's efforts towards market access to Pakistani products into the European Union (EU) markets, which she said would increase exports of Pakistan. She said that UK would also cooperate with Pakistan regarding forthcoming Pak-EU Free Trade Agreement and Pak-EU strategic dialogue.

The State Minister added that the Afghanistan issue was also discussed during the meeting in which she reiterated Pakistan’s stance that it would support Afghan led solution. She said Pakistan being immediate neighbor to Afghanistan, has always been one that suffers. However it would continue its efforts towards peace and stability in Afghanistan and would also prop up Afghan owned reconciliation process.

Regarding troops withdrawal from Afghanistan she said, Pakistan is in the favor to the smooth transition by 2014. Further, responding to questions, Ms Hina said Pakistan had gone through peace and reconciliation experience in Swat 2-3 years before with the policy of dialogue, development and deterrence. Pakistan is looking for a solution that would be Afghan led and afghan owned.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague endorsed Pakistan’s stance of seeking Afghani led solution and acknowledged that Pakistan had suffered a lot of sacrifices in countering terrorism. He said Pakistan had a very important role in political reconciliation in Afghanistan and UK would support its efforts in that regard.

William, welcoming President Obama’s announcement of troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, termed ‘this withdrawal in the line of US policy of transition by 2014’ and said ‘after withdrawing 30, 000 troops, US still have 60, 000 more there and hundreds of thousands troops from other nations are also there’. The visiting Foreign Secretary also voiced for the work done by NATO and ISAF saying ‘they have done a positive job’ in Afghanistan. The Secretary expressed that UK seek for the peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and in the region and intends to have long term and broad based relations with Afghanistan.

William Hague also emphasized on an economic development process in Afghanistan. He invited the State Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to London to further set way forward and to enhance talks on bilateral ties between the two countries.

COMMENTS (12)

malik | 10 years ago | Reply One great reason for loving Gaddafi: The other day he said, "If I leave Libya, this country will become another Pakistan !" No wonder, Pakistanis love him and have even named a stadium after him !
Mark | 10 years ago | Reply @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi: This is a sincere question, not one of those generic requests for proof with the intention of discrediting it. I don't have a significant opinion on the whole right or wrong in the Libya conflict. But, do you have information to back all of that up? Having a few out of the list I can see. But, all of those? Really? It seems financially unreal. If it is true, there's one other thing that seems off. The whole country would have been loving that guy. They'd be rebelling against near-perfection in terms of running things from any country's point of view. Most countries have some or all of those as their primary problems even if they're not hurting for money. The guy would have a worldwide fan-club. Before posting this I tried to re-read what you said a few times trying to find signs of satire or sarcasm and failed.
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