The prime minister made this offer to French President Francois Hollande in a meeting on the sidelines of the 24th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the Maltese capital on Friday.
PM Nawaz extended heartfelt condolences over the loss of precious lives in Paris and said Pakistan was ready to share its experiences with France on counter-terrorism. On November 13, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in French capital had left 130 people dead and 368 people injured. The attacks were later claimed by ultraorthodox Middle Eastern terrorist group Islamic State (IS).
“The government and the people of Pakistan stand by France in this hour of grief,” the premier said, terming terrorists the common enemies of humanity.
Nawaz said Pakistan had lost thousands of lives in the fight against terrorism and its economy had suffered losses of billions of dollars as a result of terrorist attacks over the years. “However, in the past two years, Pakistan has made notable gains in the fight against terrorism and there is a countrywide consensus to root out the menace of violent extremism,” he said.
The prime minister said Pakistan was taking stringent measures for elimination of terrorism and extremism under its National Action Plan (NAP). The NAP was unanimously adopted by the country’s political leadership after a deadly terror attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in December last year.
He said Operation Zarb-e-Azb was nearing its successful completion after hitting hard on terrorists at the Pakistani soil. The extensive military operation was initiated in June last year to purge the North Waziristan Agency of local militants and their foreign cohorts.
Nawaz said Pakistan considers France a close friend and an important political, economic and security partner and desires to enhance relations both at bilateral level and in the context of the European Union.
President Hollande expressed gratitude for the Pakistani government and people for their moral support in the wake of tragic Paris incident. “France is appreciative of the courage and resilience of Pakistani people for braving terrorism and extremism for long,” he said.
Meanwhile, the prime minister during his meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron said Pakistan intends to maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours and is ready to initiate peace talks with its arch nemesis, India, without any preconditions.
This was the third time the two prime ministers met during the current year, with earlier meetings taking place in April and September. The PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry were also present in the meeting.
The two leaders agreed to continue close collaboration in diverse fields particularly trade, investment and security. They also reaffirmed their commitment to work in partnership for countering the ‘shared threats’ of terrorism, organised crime and illegal migration. Nawaz and Cameron also expressed long-term commitment to work together for greater security and prosperity of their countries.
Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan considers United Kingdom a close friend and a trusted partner and mentioned that bilateral relations were based on sound footing and strong diaspora linkages.
He expressed satisfaction over the Pakistan-UK cooperation in the realm of Enhanced Strategic Dialogue and said that the relations had been strengthened by the refreshed roadmaps on trade, investment, culture, education and security.
Nawaz Sharif appreciated the continued support by the Britain for the uplift of Pakistan’s social sectors particularly education and mentioned in particular the assistance provided by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
Nawaz Sharif also supported the peace talks between Kabul and Afghan Taliban and said involvement of United States, China and other countries in Afghan peace process could be helpful.
The UK PM Cameron welcomed the signs of growth in Pakistan’s economy in result of its GSP Plus trading agreement with the European Union.
He expressed the UK’s all-out support for Pakistan in its pursuit for a strong economy and achieving socio-economic development. Cameron also lauded Pakistan’s efforts in eradication of militancy and extremism.
Both leaders shared views on the importance of Commonwealth and on the need for seeking the common good and benefits for all member states. They also exchanged views on issues of global and regional importance, including the security situation in the Middle East.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif joined leaders from 53 countries to attend the CHOGM’s opening ceremony on Friday in the capital of Malta, which is the only country to host the meeting for the second time in a decade.