Pakistan keen to augment broad-based ties with European Union

ID :
Fri, 06/20/2008 - 10:20

Pakistan keen to augment broad-based ties with European Union

Islamabad, June 20 PPI: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani expressing satisfaction over broad-based relations with European Union Thursday said Pakistan was keen to further augment these ties especially in economic, security and counter terrorism.

Talking to Jan De Kok European Union ambassador, he said Pakistan is looking for
increased and early access to EU markets in order to accelerate process of economic
development in the country.

He said new government was keen to improve economy as without stable and growing
economy it is not possible to strengthen nascent democratic institutions that are in
place almost after a decade.

Gilani hoped as democratic government was formed in the country, EU will extend help
and assistance especially in social sectors. He underlined commitment to combating
terrorism and extremism as it is in Pakistan's national interest and not because it
serves objectives of another country.

``We are however trying to addressing root causes of terrorism by accelerating
economic activity, generating jobs. By initiating political dialogue with elements
who have joined mainstream political activity after laying down arms.''

Prime Minister said Pakistan is keen to have a stable Afghanistan in its
neighborhood as it will help promote economic cooperation in region. A stable,
economically growing Afghanistan will help facilitate early repatriation of over
three million Afghan refugees who still reside in Pakistan. He hoped EU will help
Pakistan in repatriation of refugees with honor and dignity.

He said Pakistan has taken all possible measures to prevent illegal cross border
movement by installing biometrics system and setting up over 900 posts along its
long and difficult border with Afghanistan to achieve this objective.

Jan De Kok expressed EU's strong solidarity with Pakistan and its priority to tackle
poverty and uplift of social sectors. He termed EU and Pakistan as partners in fight
against terrorism and said EU will do all to assist Pakistan.