Pakistan, UK to enhance anti-terror cooperation
Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday sought an enhancement in defence ties with Britain as the two countries decided to take their counter-terrorism cooperation to the next level.
Defence and anti-terror cooperation figured in talks between visiting British Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Sharif said relations between the two sides need to be taken to the next level through cooperation in defence, science, technology and trade. He emphasised the need to increase cooperation between the defence forces of the two countries.
Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism measures, said a statement issued by the Prime Minister`s Office.
The situation in Afghanistan and the upcoming withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-torn country were also discussed by the two leaders.
Sharif said Pakistan wants a peaceful and stable Afghanistan as this is essential for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.
He thanked the British government for extending support to Pakistan`s case for GSP-Plus status with the European Union. Pakistan will benefit in terms of increased trade volume through this concession, he said.
Hammond also met Defence Production Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain and Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retired) Asif Yasin Malik.
The four-member British delegation led by Hammond discussed the post -2014 situation in Afghanistan and the emerging regional dynamic after the exit of NATO forces, an official statement said.
Hussain offered Britain support and assistance in defence production. Pakistan`s defence industry is on a path of indigenisation and has a capability to offer Britain state of the art defence items, he claimed.
He stressed the need to explore areas of defence cooperation. Both sides desired that a forum on defence cooperation other than the Defence Consultative Forum should be put in place for further cooperation, the statement said.
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