Ismail salutes Bayley on DFID support

Staff Report
Wednesday - February 7, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Prime minister’s finance advisor Miftah Ismail received British prime minister’s Afghanistan special representative Gareth Bayley for a meeting, on Tuesday, whereat matters related to Pak-United Kingdom (UK) bilateral relations and activities of department for international development (DFID), in support of government’s development plans and programmes, were discussed.

According to an official statement, Ismail informed Bayley that in the remaining part of incumbent’s tenure, the government will try to consolidate the economic gains made in the last four years and that the reform process will continue.

He mentioned of growth in revenue collection and said that further reforms in tax administration are a priority.

Bayley assured Ismail of the support and cooperation of the government of UK for economic reforms as well as for regional cooperation initiatives.

Regional economic integration and cross border cooperation in the areas of trade and development also came under discussion.

British high commissioner Thomas Drew accompanied Bayley on the occasion.

Separately, Bayley, accompanied by Drew, met national security adviser (NSA) Nasser Khan Janjua on Tuesday.

Matters pertaining to regional peace, security and stability with reference to evolving political and security situation in Afghanistan were discussed. Both sides discussed security situation in Afghanistan at length.

NSA explained the complexities of the perpetual conflict and highlighted the role played and contributions made by Pakistan to fight the menace of terrorism. He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability of the region and said that Pakistan has always supported all peace initiatives for Afghanistan.

Peace in Afghanistan is peace in Pakistan, Janjua added, we are sincere and committed to Afghanistan and its people. For sustainable peace in the region, peace in Afghanistan is a prerequisite, he added.

Drew acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism and highlighted the positive role of British government for a sustainable peace in Afghanistan. NSA admired the efforts of UK for investing in peace in Afghanistan and said that UK had always played a positive role for peace and stability of Afghanistan and the region.

Both sides agreed that it has to be a cooperative framework and both Pakistan and Afghanistan should resume engagements at all levels to include government, diplomatic, military, intelligence and more so from people to people.

Janjua, however, reaffirmed that more than anyone else the sitting government of Afghanistan can play a major role to bring peace in Afghanistan, though collectively we have to find a way to a better future.

Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation to ensure lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region.