Nisar discusses wide-ranging issues with British counterpart

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday discussed Pak-UK bilateral relations, bilateral cooperation especially in the area of security and ongoing fight against terrorism in his meeting with British counterparty Theresa May.

During the meeting, Interior Minister also discussed role of Pakistani community in the United Kind and ways and means to further strengthen the existing bilateral multi-faceted cooperation.

Discussing Pak-UK bilateral relations, the Interior Minister observed that Pakistan greatly valued its friendly relations with UK and was keen to further strengthen them in all possible areas.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the progress being made under the umbrella of Enhanced Strategic Dialogue, said a press release.

They agreed to further strengthen the existing cooperation, keeping in view shared concerns of the two countries in the area of security, especially in the ongoing fight against militancy, capacity building of security officials and mutual sharing of knowledge and expertise in counter-terrorism.

Discussing ongoing global fight against terrorism, the Interior Minister emphasized that the international community must take immediate steps to discourage those elements who propagate Islamophobia and ridicule  Muslim traditions and sentiments. This, he said, was critical in efforts to overcome tendencies leading towards extremism.

He stressed that neither Islam should be associated with terrorism nor the madrassas be bracketed with preaching extremism.

To effectively fight terrorism and militancy, Muslims should be considered as part of the solution and not part of the problem, he added.

He emphasized that the world must now come out of this wrong notion and misperception of considering every man with a beard and every woman wearing hijab as potential  terrorist.

Talking about Pakistan’s struggle against militancy and terrorism, the minister observed that in the war against terrorism, Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices were neither duly acknowledged not fully understood.

He said that a lot of propaganda in the West regarding human rights and capital punishment was incorrect and without any reason.

He said that some people were only pursuing the agenda of defaming Pakistan.

Discussing efforts to fight militancy and terrorism, the Interior Minister said that the international community must undertake concerted efforts to check financial resources and must take action against financiers of terrorists.

On bilateral cooperation of the two countries in fight against terrorism, the minister emphasized that to effectively pursue the cases against terrorists in the courts it was important to focus on capacity building of prosecutors and law professionals. In this regard, he continued, the country looks forward towards UK for greater cooperation. Matters relating to bringing to justice the proclaimed offenders and Pak-UK prisoners exchange agreement also came under discussion.

Theresa May in her remarks said that UK valued its ties with Pakistan and desired to further cement them. “We value the efforts and sacrifices of Pakistani government and its people in the fight against terrorism and efforts for regional peace.”

She assured the Interior Minister that UK would continue to extend every possible support to the country in its efforts towards socio-economic development and overcoming the challenges that it is faced with.

Source: APP