BERLIN: Germany is looking to increase its investments in Pakistan, especially in the energy sector, provided the conditions are right, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday during a visit by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Merkel said Germany’s KfW state development bank was already involved in projects in Pakistan including hydro power plants, but added that the security situation was sometimes a deterrent.
“We can look at intensifying these (investments), as long as the conditions are right,” Merkel told a joint news conference with Sharif.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Berlin, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Germany companies had shown plenty of interest in his country’s energy sector.
He went on to add that Germany and Pakistan would combat terrorism in Pakistan together. “We will overcome terrorism at all costs,” Nawaz said, while addressing a gathering at the Chancellor’s office in Berlin.
Echoing Nawaz’s statement for German support to combat terrorism, Merkel said Germany is willing to help Pakistan over a range of projects.
“A stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan,” the German chancellor also affirmed.
Shifting focus to economic and trade cooperation, PM Nawaz said Germany is fourth biggest trade partner of Pakistan the two countries enjoy cordial relations.
Nawaz claimed that the two countries agreed in principle over numerous projects and deals to improve the country’s economy.
“Issue of energy crisis will be resolved soon,” he assured.
Responding to a question regarding the protection of minority rights and the recent lynching of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan over alleged blasphemy, the premier said, “It is shameful and we have condemned it in the strongest possible terms.”
“My government has ordered a judicial inquiry with instructions that those responsible be given exemplary punishment,” he added.
The premier also spoke about Pakistan’s second Nobel prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, saying the teenager has not been regarded as a hero in Pakistan but she is very popular and has rendered great service in the field of education.
Commenting on talks with the premier, the German chancellor said, “We had useful talks with Nawaz Sharif and will endeavor to further strengthen Pakistan German relations.”
The premier extended an invitation to Merkel to visit Pakistan.
Earlier on his arrival at the Chancellor’s Office, the prime minister was warmly greeted by a smartly turned out contingent of German Armed Forces who presented a guard of honour to him.