Terrorism and power outages are fading away: Dastgir

Staff Report
Friday - January 26, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Defence minister Khurram Dastgir along with parliamentary delegation of Pakistan-European union (EU) friendship group met with European parliament (MEP) foreign affairs committee chair David McAllister, in Brussels on Thursday, and briefed McAllister on the success of democratic government in Pakistan in dealing with the issues of “terrorism and power shortages;” an official statement said.

According to detail, Dastgir informed about the functioning and consolidation of democratic process in Pakistan since 2008.

“As sustenance of democracy creates space for other institutions to grow, so great progress has been made in the realms of human rights and economic opportunities in Pakistan,” minister added.

He apprised McAllister that Pakistan’s successful counter terrorism operations like Zarb-e-Azb (ZeA) proved helpful in creating peace in the country and in return brought economic stability.

“There are visible signs of improvements in Pakistan,” Dastgir said. He appreciated the support rendered by the EU and China while Pakistan was facing security and economic challenges, which helped immensely in generating economic activities.

He said Pakistan looks for further deepening of engagement with the EU following signing of strategic engagement plan.

McAllister appreciated efforts of government of Pakistan (GoP) in overcoming various challenges.

He recalled his visit to Pakistan fondly, saying that it was good to see progress in Pakistan. McAllister hoped for further strengthening Pakistan-EU engagement and to have Pakistan EU summit soon.

Talking about the challenges to fight terrorism at ideological level Dastgir informed that recently there was a “message from Pakistan” in which all religious leaders condemned terrorism.

He also gave an update on situation in Afghanistan asserting that peace in Afghanistan was necessary for peace in Pakistan and vice versa. Blame game will not achieve desired results, he asserted.

Separately, Dastgir briefing the experts on “Pakistan’s contribution to war against terrorism” at Egmont institute, the royal institute of international relations, on Thursday in Brussels, explained how Pakistan was bearing the burden of war against terrorism not only in terms of financial resources but also the sacrifices of nearly 70,000 lives of civilians and army personnel.

He said that that the best protection against terrorism is strong democracy and stated that with the consolidation of democracy in Pakistan incidents of terrorism have been controlled and with improvement of internal peace and security situation; the economy has also seen an upward trend in the past few years.