ISLAMABAD: Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura called on President Pervez Musharraf in Rawalpindi on Saturday and discussed regional and international issues of common concern and further expanding economic, trade and political ties. President Musharraf on the occasion said that Pakistan attaches great importance to it’s’ ties with Japan and underlined the need for forging more closer relations between the two countries especially in trade, investment and joint venture fields. Mr. Koumura said his country is fully committed to sustaining economic growth in Pakistan and would remain engaged in its socio- economic uplift.
Pak-Japan ties need to be further enhanced: Gilani
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that Pakistan and Japan enjoy close bilateral relations and the two countries should work towards further strengthening the existing relations so as to open up new vistas of opportunities in all fields. Talking to the Japanese Foreign Minister, Mr. Masahiko Komura, who called on him here on Saturday, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan is determined to promote peace and stability in the region. He said it is only through peace that this region would be able to achieve its true potential of growth.
Commenting on the issue of extremism, the Prime Minister said Pakistan is an anchor of peace in the region. He said Pakistan realizes its responsibilities and is determined to counter terrorism and extremism in all its forms and manifestations. He said terrorism is a global phenomenon and the world community has to do more in substantiating government of Pakistan’s efforts to curb this menace.
The Prime Minister said that after the cold war, Pakistan was left alone to look after the Afghan refugees which was not only an economic burden but also affected the social fabric of the society. The Prime Minister called upon the world community to devise a comprehensive strategy to improve the socio-economic and security conditions in Afghanistan so that the Afghan refugees could return to their homeland at the earliest.
Referring the new strategy to combat terrorism, the Prime Minister said that his government is evolving a new multi-pronged strategy to effectively confront the issue which drives its strength from socio-economic disparity and un-resolved political disputes. He said that the new policy would include political dialogue, socio-economic development and security measures.
He expressed confidence that this multi-pronged strategy would bear fruit and ensure socio-economic development, improvement of infrastructure, peace and security in the areas bordering Afghanistan. He categorically mentioned that the talks would only be held with those elements that believe in peace, lay down their arms and abhor terrorism.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan and Japan share similar views on global peace and stability and called upon the need to work together to promote sustainable peace in the region and join hands in redressing the root causes which lead to extremism and terrorism. He said Pakistan, on account of its geo-strategic location is playing a vital role in maintaining peace and stability in the region and a strong and stable Pakistan is in the best interest of the region therefore Japan by assisting Pakistan is contributing to the cause of peace.
Mr. Masahiko Komura said Japan as the chairman of G-8 group would apprise the member countries of the challenges being faced by Pakistan and ask them to extend assistance for the economic stability of Pakistan. Reciprocating the views expressed by Prime Minister about the causes of terrorism and extremism, the foreign Minister said that it is a challenge being confronted by all the countries. He said that the world community should join hands in the struggle to contain it through unified action.
He appreciated the role played by Pakistan in the War against terrorism and assured of Japanese support to exterminate the root causes including efforts for the uplift of under developed areas of the region. He also mentioned that Japan would support the economic development in Afghanistan to improve conditions for safe return of Afghan refugees.
Mr. Komura assured government of Japan’s full support to Pakistan for the development of its social sector particularly the need in the field of education, health and infrastructure development. He also congratulated the Prime Minister on assuming his office and securing unanimous vote of confidence for his election.-SANA