Efforts to improve ties with India not reciprocated: PM

Operation Zarb-e-Azb yielded encouraging results

MANAMA, Jan 08 (INP): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Thursday that his government made sincere efforts to improve relations with the new government in India, but the efforts were not reciprocated.

Addressing a gathering of overseas Pakistanis in Bahrain, the premier said India cancelled the foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan on the pretext of the Pakistani High Commissioner’s meeting with the Kashmir leadership, which has been a practice for 60 years. He underscored that Pakistan desires to have good relations with all neighbours.

Nawaz Sharif said the pace of progress in the country will increase manifold after establishment of peace through elimination of terrorism.

He said operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched after exhaustion of the option of talks with militants, which could not succeed because the terrorists were not ready to lay down their arms.

He said the operation has yielded encouraging results with several terrorists killed and several others fled to Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister said the new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is pro-Pakistan and he has promised to cooperate with Pakistan in the fight against terrorists. He said Pakistan would also reciprocate.

Recalling his meeting with the Afghan President in Islamabad, the Prime Minister said they had resolved not to let the soil of the two countries be used against each other.

The Prime Minister said special courts are being set up to try terror suspects speedily and bring them to task. He resolved to take the fight against terrorism to the logical conclusion.

Referring to the steps being taken by the government for welfare of people, Nawaz Sharif said prices of petroleum products and electricity have been reduced. He said the 30 percent cut on the petroleum products has left a positive impact on many areas including industry, agriculture, and prices of the day to day commodities.

He said several mega projects, such as Bhasha Dam, are being implemented to resolve the energy crisis. He said the shortage of gas will also be met on priority basis.

The Prime Minister pointed out that economy is reflecting positive indicators with reserves, exports, revenue and investment increasing. He said stock exchange is also showing positive signs.

About his meetings with the Bahraini leadership, the Prime Minister said both Pakistan and Bahrain want to strengthen their economic, political, and diplomatic relations. He said Pakistan intends to increase trade with Bahrain.

He said the Bahraini Prime Minister appreciated the economic progress taking place in Pakistan.

INP

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