Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Mr. Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus led their respective sides at the bilateral level talks held here at PM House today.

Welcoming the visiting delegation, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan values its relations with Belarus. ‘Our two countries enjoy a warm, cordial and multi-faceted relationship. Pakistan is keen to forge closer ties with Belarus in all fields including trade, economy, investment, industry, education, defence, agriculture, culture and other areas’, said the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister said that the momentum of increased high level exchanges between the two countries needs to be maintained.

The Prime Minister informed the visiting President that his government is focused on reviving the economy, overcoming the energy shortage and eradicating extremism. ‘We are committed to good governance, curbing corruption, ensuring fiscal discipline and widening the tax base to revive the economy to its true potential’, added the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister further said that Pakistan today is one of the most investor friendly countries; offering excellent opportunities for foreign investors with investment-friendly regulations and a huge market of nearly 200 million people.

The Prime Minister said, ‘I am happy to note that both sides have established various platforms and tools to promote trade, business and investment between the two countries, which provides a solid basis for enhancing multi-dimensional relations’. The Prime Minister further said that establishment of Joint Trade Committee is an important vehicle to identify bottlenecks and resolve issues in trade relations of both the countries. The Prime Minister noted that both the Joint Economic Commission and the Joint Trade Committee are actively pursuing these issues.

Mr. Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus said that Belarus has significant expertise in building of heavy machinery including automotive engineering, agricultural harvesting machinery, road construction machinery and dump trucks. He added that both sides can develop joint ventures and business-to-business contacts in these areas.

Mr. Alexander Lukashenko further said that Belarus and Pakistan need to explore the possibility of creating joint ventures for the production and processing of wide range of agricultural products, including the production of milk powder, other dairy products, textiles, auto parts, surgical instruments, pharmaceuticals and other areas of mutual benefit.

The President applauded the government of Pakistan for making huge successes in the revival of economy. He also extended his appreciation for achieving peace by dismantling the networks of terrorists in Pakistan. The President lauded the efforts and great sacrifices made by Pakistan in the war against terror.

Talking in the context of regional peace and stability, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan pursues the policy of maintaining good relations with all its neighbours. ‘Pakistan wants peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues with India, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. I want to thank you for your expression of support for peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions’, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister further said that India has deliberately escalated tensions at the LoC in order to divert the attention of the international community from the grave situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The Prime Minister informed the visiting President that more than 110 innocent people have lost their lives, and more than 12000 have been injured, with hundreds in critical condition. ‘More than 700 people have suffered severe eye injuries due to the use of pellet guns by the Indian occupation forces and more than 150 have become permanently blind’ said the Prime Minister.

The visiting delegation from Belarus included Mr Vladimir Semashko, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Vitaly Vovk, Minister of Industry, Mr Mikhail Zhuravkov, Minister of Education, Mr Sergei Nalivaiko, Minister of Taxation Revenue, Mr Alexander Shumilin, Chairman State Committee of Science &Tech, Mr lgor Brylo, Dy Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr Igor Lyashenko, Chairman of Belarusian State for Oil and Chemistry, Mr Andrei Ermolovich, Ambassador of Belarus, Mamanovich Petr, Dy Chairman of the Board of the National Bank, H.E Vladimir Kostin, Director of Aviation Department of the Ministry of Transport and Nikolai Efimehik, Director of Belarusian Light Industry.

Pakistani side was represented by Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan Minister for Commerce, Mr Muhammad Ishaq Dar Minister for Finance, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Baligh Ur Rehman MOS for Education, Mr Tariq Fatemi SAPM and Mr Mifta lsmail, Chairman BOI.