ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that Pakistan was trying its best to normalize its relations with neighboring countries; however, resolution of outstanding issues was essential.
He made these remarks in a meeting with the Chief of General Staff United Kingdom General Nicholas Patrick Carter in Islamabad on Tuesday.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed areas of mutual interest and cooperation in field of defence. They also extensively discussed overall security situation of the region and the country.
In his remarks, Asif said that frequent interactions between United Kingdom and Pakistan had paved way for coordinating approaches to various bilateral regional and international issues. He said that Pakistan had a strong diaspora in UK and likewise there was a large number of British nationals in the country who served as a living bridge between two countries.
The minister also highlighted sacrifices rendered by Armed Forces and people of Pakistan in war on terror and mentioned that Pakistan had provided multifaceted support to international community in war on terror.
The visiting general appreciated role of Pakistan Army played in operation Zarb-e-Azb and acknowledged that this would not only bring peace and stability in Pakistan but in region as a whole.
In a separate meeting with Secretary Defence Lt. General (Retd) Muhammad Alam Khattak in Rawalpindi, it was informed that progress had been made though on-going Pak-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) which covered entire spectrum of bilateral relations.
The Secretary Defence highlighted role of Pakistan as a stabilizing factor in wake of drawdown of US led NATO forces from Afghanistan.
The upcoming 15th Round of Defence Cooperation Forum scheduled in July this year at London was also discussed.
It was reminded that Pakistan, being member of Commonwealth, attaches great importance to its deep rooted relations with United Kingdom.