ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday categorically said that drone attacks must stop as these were violating country's sovereignty and international laws.
"Drone attacks must stop. We have protested many a time. This is simply unacceptable," he commented in a meeting with German Foreign Minister Dr Guido Westerwelle who called on him along with a six-member delegation at the Prime Minister's House on Saturday.
The comments came after the US Charge d’ Affaires (CdA), Deputy Ambassador Richard Hoagland was summoned by the Foreign Office to lodge a “strong protest” against the drone strike in North Waziristan which killed seven people on Friday.
A statement released by the Foreign Office said that the “Government of Pakistan strongly condemns the drone strikes which are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
Hoagland was handed a demarche, emphasising the importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes.
Nawaz invites German investment
During the meeting, the German Foreign Minister discussed bilateral relations as well as the prevailing regional situation with the Prime Minister.
Nawaz said that Pakistan regarded Germany as a close friend and as the prime minister it would be his endeavor to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. He hoped that Pakistan would benefit from the technological advancement and economic development of Germany.
Dilating on the acute power shortage in the country, the premier said his government was working on a plan to overcome load shedding. He invited the German investors to exploit this opportunity by investing in Pakistan's power sector and welcomed investment by some Germans to set up thermal power plants which could be run on coal and gas. Nawaz also offered to facilitate the setting up of their plants near coal mines in Pakistan.
The prime minister expressed the hope that German investors visit Pakistan to see the business climate and opportunities that the country had to offer.
Dr Westerwelle said that the German government was keen to send a business delegation to Pakistan and the German Ambassador in Pakistan would be facilitating the visit of this delegation comprising 60 German businessmen, which would be visiting Pakistan shortly. He also proposed a joint investment conference in which German and Pakistani investors participate and share their knowledge and explore the prospects of investment in Pakistan.
The German foreign minister also assured Germany's continued support for Pakistan's efforts to get GSP Plus status in the European Union.
"There is a positive sentiment in the Pakistani business community which looks towards my government for good economic policies and encouraging the business sector," Nawaz observed.
"We have a tough situation at hand but we have team and the determination to turn around the economy".
Multi-pronged policy for Afghanistan
Germany, which is a major stakeholder in Afghanistan, invested with troops, economic and financial commitments, the country’s foreign minister also spoke to Nawaz about restoring peace in the war torn country.
Dr Westerwelle said that he was coming from Kabul where he had meetings with President Karzai and sought assessment of the regional situation.
Nawaz said that Pakistan wanted to expand cooperation with Afghanistan and support the Afghan nation. He added that there had to be a multi-pronged policy to tackle the situation in Afghanistan.
The premier added that Pakistan was ready to facilitate the withdrawal of coalition troops from Afghanistan and hoped that Afghan army and security forces would be able to manage the situation after the withdrawal of coalition troops.
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