Pakistan must have long-term relations with US: PM
DAVOS: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz stressed the need for a long term and strategic partnership between the United States and Pakistan and said the alliance would benefit both the countries.
Speaking at a lunch he hosted in honour of the chief executives of the multi-national corporations and corporate leaders in Switzerland, he said that although the two countries have had long relations but there have been ‘ups and downs’, adding that 9/11 had provided the opportunity to forge new friendship between the two countries.
“Pakistan was interested in the long-term friendship the US” he said and added that the leaders of the two countries have held regular consultations but now the time had come to consolidate the relations on solid grounds.
The prime minister said Pakistan hated terrorism in all forms and the country was determined to work with the rest of the world to combat terrorism. However, he stressed the need to address the root causes of terrorism, which in his view could only be addressed through the removal of deprivation, poverty, ignorance and illiteracy.
Speaking about Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours, he said Pakistan desired to live in peace with its neighbours. The prime minister said Pakistan’s relations with Iran were cordial but wanted trade and commercial ties need to be improved.
He said Pakistan was ready to abridge Iran and other stakeholders to resolve the issues. The prime minister said several issues would be discussed with the Iranian leadership during his upcoming visit to Iran.
He said Pakistan had offered transporting gas to India from Iran, Qatar and Turkmenistan through its territory. He said Pakistan would acquire gas from any three nations, even if India was not interested in a corridor through Pakistan.
Talking about the economic reforms, he said many sectors were open for direct foreign investment.
Meanwhile, the prime minister met Najib Razak, Malaysian deputy prime minister, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Friday and discussed ways to enhance bilateral and economic ties, sources said.
Sources said the prime minister informed Razak of the economic reforms in Pakistan and the government’s efforts to deregulate various sectors for the international business community.
Prime Minister Aziz said Malaysia ought to import more Pakistani manpower, which is skilled and hardworking. He said Pakistan was looking forward to Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s visit next month. app