Multi-pronged strategy to combat terrorism: Pakistani PM


Islamabad : Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said his government was evolving a multi-pronged strategy to effectively combat extremism and terrorism.

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Talking to Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura at the PM House on Saturday the Prime Minister said Pakistan was determined to promote peace and stability in the region.

He said Pakistan would confront the issue that stems from socio-economic disparity and un-resolved political disputes.

Gilani said Pakistan’s policy includes political dialogue, socio-economic development and security measures.

He expressed confidence that the multi-pronged strategy would bear fruit by bringing in socio-economic development, improvement of infrastructure leading to peace and security in the areas bordering Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister said the government would enter talks only with those elements that believe in peace, lay down their arms and express abhorrence to terrorism.

It is only through peace that this region would be able to achieve its true potential of growth, he added.

Prime Minister said Pakistan was an anchor of peace in the region, realizes its responsibilities and was determined to counter terrorism and extremism in all its forms and manifestations.

He said terrorism was a global phenomenon and the world community needs to do more to curb this menace. He said the two countries need to join hands to counter this threat.

The Prime Minister said after the cold war Pakistan was left alone to look after Afghan refugees, which was not only an economic burden but also affected the social fabric of the society.

Even today over three million Afghan refugees were in Pakistan, some of whom keep moving across the long and porous border.

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 at the earliest.

He pointed that the refugees who had gone to Afghanistan, have started returning and despite the challenge of food security Pakistan was catering for needs of Afghanistan as well as refugees.

He said wheat was being smuggled to Central Asian countries creating more demand leading to wheat shortage.

He said Pakistan and Japan have always enjoyed 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.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan and Japan share similar views on global peace and stability and called upon the need for working together to promote sustainable peace in the region.

He said Pakistan on account of its geo-strategic location was playing a vital role in maintaining peace and stability in the region and a strong and stable Pakistan was in the best interest of the region.

Japan by assisting Pakistan was contributing to the cause of peace, Gilani said.

The Prime Minister said Japan was an important trade and development partner of Pakistan as it has always supported in challenging times and provided development loans particularly in key sectors like roads, water and power generation and distribution.

He asked Japan to extend assistance for the upcoming infrastructure development projects in the same areas.

Masahiko Komura said Japan as chairman of the G-8 group would apprise member countries of the challenges being faced by Pakistan and ask them to extend assistance for the economic stability of Pakistan as it would support the endeavours for peace in the region.

He said Japan understands the difficulties being faced by Pakistan and would extend every possible support to strengthen democracy and economic development.

The Foreign Minister said terrorism and extremism were a challenge being confronted by all the countries. He said the world community should join hands in the struggle to contain it through unified action.

Komura appreciated the role played by Pakistan in the war against terrorism and assured Japanese support to eradicate 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.

Komura assured Japan’s full support to Pakistan for development of its social sector particularly the need in the field of education, health and infrastructure development.

He congratulated the Prime Minister on assuming his office and securing unanimous vote of confidence.