LONDON: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Thursday said dialogue with Taliban has started and hoped that it will progress within the Constitutional framework of Pakistan.
He was talking to British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg who called on him. They discussed issues of mutual interest.
The Prime Minister apprised Clegg on the dialogue with Taliban, relations with India, energy situation and economic reforms agenda of his government, a press release from the Pakistan’s High Commission said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the government could not wait and see the innocent people and members of law-enforcement agencies being killed in the streets of Pakistan.
He said the government was making its counter-terrorism forces and intelligence agencies fully capable to root out extremism and terrorism from the country.
The enhancement of the capacity of the counter-terrorism forces was a part of different options to deal with extremism and terrorism, he added.
The Prime Minister also briefed Clegg on the recently promulgated Protection of Pakistan Ordinance and said that it was specifically prepared to deal with those terrorists who were waging war against the people and the state of Pakistan.
On Pakistan-India relations, the Prime Minister said that he had made sincere efforts to resolve all outstanding issues with India.
“We have made India bashing a non-issue in Pakistan but unfortunately, Indian politicians are still engaged in unwarranted Pakistan bashing”, he added.
On reduction of energy subsidy, the Prime Minister said some segments of society were not happy with partial withdrawal of subsidy on electricity but the direction of the present government was correct.
He said during the next 3-4 years, new energy projects would start generating several thousand mega watts of electricity which would significantly reduce the demand-supply gap as well as its prices.
UK Deputy Prime Minister Clegg told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he and his government were full of admiration for his pro-active approach of reaching out to India before and after elections.
He assured that the UK would fully support Pakistan’s case for GSP Plus in the EU market. Clegg also appreciated recently introduced economic reforms agenda by the Pakistan government.
The Prime Minister appreciated UK’s support in various sectors, especially education in Pakistan. Both the sides agreed to further solidify bilateral relations.
Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Minister of State for IT & Telecom Ms. Anusha Rahman Ahmad Khan, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, Fawad Hasan Fawad, Acting Secretary to the Prime Minister and Pakistan High Commissioner for UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan were present during the meeting.