ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Monday urged British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to let the arrested Pakistani students complete their studies in UK.
“I have asked Prime Minister Brown not to discontinue the studies of those students”
Prime Minister Gilani told a press stakeout along with the British Prime Minister after wide-ranging talks between the two sides that covered bilateral relations as well as cooperation in various areas including counter-terrorism. “Yes I had discussion with Prime Minister Brown and we discussed about the students. There are one million (Pakistani) people settled in UK and there are thousands of students including my two sons and a daughter.
“We have also discussed whatever information (about the students) has been shared with us and we will examine it”, Gilani said in response to question as to why the British authorities intend to deport the Pakistani students who were arrested and later released after they did not find any evidence against them.
Prime Minister Gilani said as The Prime Minister said he told his British counterpart of Pakistan’s strong commitment to eliminating militancy, terrorism and extremism by pursuing a comprehensive approach that comprised dialogue, development and deterrence.
“To achieve this objective all elements of state power will be utilized”, he said and added that he assured Prime Minister Brown of the steadfast will of nation and commitment of state institutions to combat this menace and to frustrate the evil designs of those who want to undermine Pakistan’s stability.
Prime Minister Gilani said that Pakistan will continue to make efforts to promote stability in Afghanistan, adding, “we have made considerable progress in our relations with brotherly Afghan people, with whom we have affinity of culture, trade and an indistinct sense of shared destiny”. He said Pakistan desires good neighborly relations with India and hopes that Indian leadership will positively respond to our suggestion to resume the process of dialogue and constructive engagement.
Prime Minister said the United Kingdom is a close friend of Pakistan.
“Our historic ties are reinforced by the presence of one million Pakistani expatriates there, who are making a significant contribution in British economy and playing an important role in furthering the relations between Pakistan and UK”.
The Prime Minister further said Pakistan has no doubt that the British government acknowledges the valuable contribution of Pakistanis settled in UK. “We look forward to working together closely for further strengthening our bilateral cooperation with UK for the mutual benefit of the people of two countries,” he added.
While Gordon Brown has called for a “stronger relationship” between the UK and Pakistan to fight the threat posed by extremism and terrorism. Speaking in Islamabad, he said a “strategic dialogue on all the issues” was needed. Mr Brown, standing beside Pakistani PM Yusuf Raza Gilani, pledged £10m to fight extremism in the country.
Mr Brown said: “Today we have agreed a new and stronger relationship between our two countries – vital and urgent work we will undertake together which sets out our shared priorities of tackling violent extremism.
“We will support each other more strongly on counter terrorism activities. We will engage in a strategic dialogue on all the issues surrounding this and we will consider task forces and work streams that will deliver that strategic dialogue for us. And we will support this close co-operation immediately by the UK delivering a £10m package of counter terrorism capacity giving assistance to Pakistan’s agencies.”
Input from Agencies