ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif on Thursday called for developing regional consensus on supporting a stable government in Afghanistan and stepping up the reconciliation drive there.
A day after being sworn in as premier for a record third time, Sharif directed all heads of Pakistan missions abroad to project a positive and soft image of the country that desired peace with all neighbors.
He promised his administration would support the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of peace and reconciliation. His government would devise a strategy in consultation will political parties, security forces, media and the civil society to combat terrorism.
At the same time, he said, it was imperative to address the external dimension of terrorism by choking funding sources of extremists groups. The cooperation of regional states and the global community would be sought in this regard.
The 62-year-old vowed to deepen relations with India, the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran. “We will build on convergence to cement relations with the US,” he noted, saying Pakistan’s strategic and economic partnership with China would be further cemented.
“Despite its recent economic troubles, Europe continues to remain and important player on the global scene and is our largest trading partner. We will continue to engage with European countries,” he maintained.
The prime minister directed Pakistani missions abroad to aggressively pursue economic diplomacy and promotion of the national interests in the realms of trade and foreign investment. (Pajhwok)