ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani on Wednesday said that strategic relationship with the United States is important for Pakistan and it want to further expand the relations in various fields. He said that US President George W. Bush had assured Washington’s support to Pakistan in every field when the US president called him on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister was talking to US Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte who called on him here at the Prime Minister House this evening. US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher was also present on the occasion. While reiterating Pakistan’s firm resolve to address the issue of terrorism, the Prime Minister said the world community had to do more in order to develop a collective approach.
Pakistan, he said, had been consistently fighting the menace of terrorism and sacrificed a lot including assassination of its leader Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. The Prime Minister said that the government was determined to fight terrorism in all its forms. Terrorism was not a problem that only US was facing, it was a problem of Pakistan as well, he added.
While talking about the recent elections the Prime Minister said that the people of Pakistan had given a clear mandate in favor of the moderate and democratic forces in the country. He said that the government will never disappoint its people. The Prime Minister further said that parliament was a sovereign body and every effort will be made to ensure its supremacy. He said decisions on important national issues would be taken through the parliament.
He said that to strengthen all the institutions including development of free and vibrant media and independent Election Commission was the agenda of the government.
The Prime Minister said that economic empowerment of the people in bordering areas near Afghanistan was the key to address the issue of extremism in that region. Negroponte congratulated the Prime Minister on assuming the office and assured US complete support to the new government. He expressed the confidence that democracy in Pakistan would take roots and lead towards progress and prosperity of the country.
Appreciating Pakistan’s efforts in curtailing extremism and terrorism, he said that the US relations with Pakistan and its people were very important and expressed US desire for developing a stable and multi-faceted relationship with Pakistan which was not restricted to the war on terror alone. Senior officials also attended the meeting.-SANA