H.E. Mr. Borge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway along with delegation called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at PM House, today.
The Norwegian Foreign Minister conveyed the deepest condolences on behalf of Norwegian Prime Minister and the people of Norway over the tragic Quetta incident.
Welcoming the delegation, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that eliminating terrorism from Pakistan was the topmost priority of his government. ‘’ We launched military offensive against terrorists after evolving a national consensus. The ongoing military operation “Zarb-e-Azb” has been a huge success in curtailing terrorism throughout the country. It has dismantled the terrorists’ networks who have lately resorted to hit soft targets out of sheer frustration, said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said that after achieving a growth rate of 4.7% in GDP last year, Pakistan hopes to cross 5% growth in the GDP in coming months. The Prime Minister further added that the government is focusing on all crucial sectors of economy including agriculture and industry. Inflation is at record 40 years low in Pakistan, which is the result of our prudent economic policies, added the Prime Minister.
‘’We are working on fast-track basis to overcome the power shortages in Pakistan and will add up to 10,000 MW of electricity to our system by next year. We have diversified the energy mix in Pakistan and different projects of clean and renewable energy are simultaneously executed. Diamer Bhasha dam to be built on river Indus will alone generate electricity of about 4500 MW; apart from storing water and helping to mitigate floods, expressed the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), executed with the assistance of the friendly country China, includes major infrastructure, energy and communication projects. The project is a practical manifestation of our time-tested friendship with China, said the Prime Minister.
Appreciating the counterterrorism strategy of Pakistani government, Mr. Borge Brende said that there is a sharp decline in terrorism related incidents in Pakistan. ‘’We feel very happy that the security situation in Pakistan has improved a lot. The country is
more stable and we look forward for even better situation in the near future. Pakistan must play its role for a peaceful Afghanistan’’, said the Norwegian Foreign Minister.
‘’Peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the region as well. We will extend all possible support to the Afghan-led peace initiatives’’, responded the Prime Minister.
In the regional context, the deteriorating situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) also came under discussion. The Prime Minister said that people of IOK are struggling for freedom which is their fundamental right. The UN resolution allows the Kashmiri people to decide about their future. The people of IOK are denied their right to self-determination and ruthlessly targeted. The world must play its role to defuse the situation as per the UN’s resolutions, said the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister further added that Pakistan strongly believes in peaceful negotiations to resolve the Kashmir issue with India.
Mr. Borge Brende said that Pakistan’s positive role in defusing the tension between Iran and Saudi was very welcoming and was duly appreciated the world over. On this occasion, the Norwegian Foreign Minister conveyed the warmest regards of the Prime Minister of Norway for Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
The Prime Minister extended an invitation for the Norwegian Prime Minister to visit Pakistan.
Other members of the delegation included Mr Tore Nedrebo, Ambassador, Ms Tine Morch Smith, Mr Vebjorn Dysvik and MS Kristina Lie Revheim. Mr Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to PM on Foreign Affairs and Tariq Fatemi, SAPM were also present during the meeting.