Pakistan wants good ties with Afghanistan, India regardless of election outcome

Published: March 29, 2014
Prime minister Nawaz Sharif meeting with World Bank Chief Operating Officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati in Islamabad on Saturday. PHOTO: PID

Prime minister Nawaz Sharif meeting with World Bank Chief Operating Officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati in Islamabad on Saturday. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said that Pakistan sought good ties with Afghanistan and India, regardless of who came to power with elections scheduled for April in the eastern and western neighbours of Pakistan.

During a meeting with the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of World Bank sri Mulyani Indrawati in Islamabad on Saturday, Nawaz said that Pakistan believes in good relations with Afghanistan and India.

“I believed in this policy in past and I am pursuing it in my present government,” he said.

World Bank support appreciated

Pointing out that World Bank can play a major role in supporting the efforts of the government to address the energy crisis, Nawaz highlighted on going projects and policies.

Highlighting the energy initiatives of the government, the premier said that the Pakistan Energy Park in Gadani includes ten 660 mega watt (MW) coal based power generation plants which aim to add 6,600 MW to the energy grid. Development of Thar coal and its utilisation for power generation is also a priority area.

On measures to stabilise the economy of Pakistan, the premier highlighted that they expect the foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan to swell to $16 billion by end of 2014.

Country Director World Bank Rachid Benmessaoud, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar and Nasir Mahmood Khosa attended the meeting.

Meeting with Finance Minister

Later, Indrawati met with the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, at the Finance Ministry.

Dar thanked the Managing Director for her personal interest in Pakistan related programmes especially the CASA-1000 and Dasu Hydropower Projects which are in the process of approval by the board and clearance of 2 DPCs on March 19 by the Operations Committee which Indrawati had chaired herself.

Dar further briefed the World Bank official on the macro-economic situation in Pakistan and policies of the government.

The finance minister underlined that changes are being contemplated in relevant tax laws for permanently eliminating the discretion of FBR to issue special tax exemptions. He underscored that the government’s privatisation strategy which aims to provide a holistic framework for disinvesting public sector assets.

Dar emphasised that international assistance will help the government in addressing poverty and socio economic uplift of the people.

Indrawati, while appreciating the economic policies, said that World Bank will help Pakistan in poverty alleviation and promoting shared prosperity for the people of Pakistan.

She said that Pakistan has strong support of the World Bank for its economic revival under its leadership, adding that the World Bank would expect progress on energy projects would be made on fast track.

On World Bank’s partnership with Pakistan, she said that the focus will remain on tackling the energy crisis, increasing economic opportunity for women and youth and improving service delivery.

She also informed the Finance Minister that the World Bank will consider a Country Partnership Strategy for Pakistan in May this year.

Indrawati hoped success for Pakistan in launching of Eurobonds in the international market and auction of spectrum licenses.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Tani
    Mar 29, 2014 - 10:38PM

    Actions speaks louder than words Sir.. And your actions speak otherwise. We have lost interest with doublespeak. Current government was the best possible chance for trade and relationship normalisation, you lost the opportunity. Don’t think the upcoming government will be that magnanimous. Not at least for 2,3 years.

  • Strategic Asset
    Mar 29, 2014 - 11:21PM

    Then get the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice.Recommend

  • vinsin
    Mar 30, 2014 - 1:00AM

    Good to know that pakistan want friendly ties. But I doubt next government which is most likely of bjp is going to be softRecommend

  • Gaurav
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:29PM

    One suggestion from Pakistan to WB chief why she is keeping name with Sanskrit roots (Sri Indrawati ), she should have something Muslim name being Indonesian.Recommend

  • Aseem
    Apr 1, 2014 - 2:47PM

    India must appreciate the gesture and reciprocate by dispatching to Pakistan a consignment of excellent quality ties at 50% discount.


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