Lahore–British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here Friday . Matters of mutual interest, Pak-Britain relations, promotion of cooperation in different sectors and regional issues including Kashmir problem were discussed in the meeting.
It was also agreed to hold Jinnah Conference in London. British Secretary of State appreciated the exemplary measures taken by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for the rapid development of the province and said that he has taken splendid steps for the progress and prosperity of the people of Punjab as well as made commendable efforts for the uplift of education, health, infrastructure and other sectors.
He said that he and his delegation were accorded a rousing welcome on this visit to Lahore and he is thankful to the Chief Minister for the love and hospitality shown to him. British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs said that Britain attaches extraordinary importance to its relations with Pakistan especially Punjab as Punjab is the economic engine of Pakistan and has a high rate of economic development. He said that Britain will further promote cooperation with Punjab as well as strengthen partnership with the provincial government in different sectors. He said that there are vast opportunities of tourism in Punjab especially in Lahore and there is a need to promote tourism in the province for increasing economic and trade activities.
He also stressed the need for strengthening of trade and economic relations between Britain and Pakistan. He said that British companies will explore possibilities of benefitting from extraordinary opportunities of investment in different sectors in Punjab and mutual contacts will be promoted as Pakistan has extraordinary significance and its economy is fast developing. Boris Johnson welcomed the Chief Minister’s proposal to arrange Jinnah Conference in London and said that all out cooperation will be extended as it will be an important event
Talking to British Secretary Shahbaz Sharif said that Britain is an important trade and economic partner of Pakistan and both the countries have historical and friendly relations. He said that British Department for International Development (DFID) is extending commendable cooperation in the sectors of education, health and skill development. He said that proper and transparent utilization of British taxpayers’ money is ensured in Punjab and every penny is being spent on the welfare of the masses.
He said that Britain has played a laudable role in stability of democracy in Pakistan. Shahbaz Sharif said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, result- oriented measures have been taken during the last three and a half years for elimination of terrorism and controlling energy crisis and these steps have yielded positive results.
He said that Pakistan is more safe, peaceful and economically strong today. He said that Pakistani nation has rendered unprecedented sacrifices in the war against terrorism and thousands of Pakistanis have laid down their lives. He said that political and military leadership started a decisive war against terrorism with complete consensus and Pakistan has achieved splendid successes.