Mr. Alan Duncan Minister for International Development calls on President Zardari


Islamabad: Mr. Alan Duncan Minister for International Development, called on President Asif Ali Zardari here today. British Minister was accompanied by British High Commissioner to Pakistan Sir Adam Thomson Pak-UK bilateral relations, strategic dialogue, regional situation, rehabilitation of flood affectees, trade access to EU for Pakistan’s goods, meeting of Pakistan Development Forum and other related issues were discussed during the meeting.

Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was also present during the meeting.

Briefing the media, Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that President Asif Ali Zardari, during the meeting, emphasised that ‘trade not aid’ is solution to Pakistan’s economic problems so necessary for fighting militancy and extremism for the stability of the region and overcoming economic stresses.

The President appreciated UK’s development assistance over £665 million committed for 2009-2013 as development assistance in social sector.

The President said that UK and Pakistan needs to strengthen their partnership in the realms of education, science and technology and cultural fields working closely for more trade and investment in Pakistan. He focused on the need to enhance and strengthen Pakistan’s counter terrorism capacity through provision of equipment, training facilities and sharing of timely intelligence.

The President while commenting on the progress of Pakistan Education Task Force said that both the countries need to further enhance cooperation since the education sector needs special attention as a long term measure to neutralize militant mindset. Education, the President said is the long term answer to extremism and militancy and added that Pak- UK Education Task Force is an important theme of the strategic dialogue.

Discussing regional issues, the President said that Pakistan has always called upon the international community for finding a permanent solution to the sources of funding for terrorists and to address the issue of illegal drugs production and trafficking that is a major threat to international peace and stability. He said that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan was in the interests of Pakistan and it has always supported every effort of the international community in this regard.

Mr. Alan Duncan Minister for International Development appreciated the efforts of the Government and its security forces against militancy and reiterated British support to the democratic government in Pakistan in dealing with this menace. He said that Britain would continue to support Pakistan in every possible manner in overcoming difficulties faced by the country in various areas.

Mr. Alan Duncan said that his government would extend all possible supporting employment generation and poverty eradication in war and flood stricken areas of Pakistan. He also assured continued support of the British government to Pakistan’s efforts in fight against militancy and terrorism.

Among others who attended the meeting included Secretary General Mr. Salman Farouqi, High Commissioner Mr. Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Spokesperson Mr. Farhatullah Babar and other senior officials.

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