Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday reiterated that Pakistan is determined to tackle challenge of militancy, adding that militants would not be allowed to impose their agendas.

 

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Defence Exhibition IDEAS-2012 in Karachi, the premier condemned terrorism in all of its manifestations. He said the government will not allow the militants to impose their agenda.

 

He said the world economic centres are shifting to Asia but peace is vital for regional development and prosperity. He said that Pakistan believes in tolerance.

 

Referring to Pakistan s relations with other countries‚ PM Pervez Ashraf said We have strong and time tested bilateral relations and we are also strengthening cooperation with Malaysia‚ Indonesia‚ and Turkey.

 

Contending that Pakistan would have a crucial role in India s efforts to acquire energy from the Central Asian Republics, he said peace and stability are essential for the socio-economic development of the region.

 

He observed, “India s need for energy and trade with Central Asian Republics is largely dependent on Pakistan.

 

It is a matter of satisfaction that both India and Pakistan are moving forward in the right direction through the composite dialogue framework.”

 

The prime minister stated recent events had created space for reviewing terms of Pakistan-US engagement and I consider this to be more of an opportunity than a challenge.

 

He further stated that Pakistan could benefit from China in defence collaboration, offsetting the undeclared technological apartheid.

 

Pakistan could also benefit from the rise of Turkey and Malaysia as new centres of economic influence, Ashraf said.

 

Recent interaction between Russian and Pakistani authorities were “quite productive and points to eagerness on both sides to deepen our bilateral ties”, he said.

 

There is also great potential for Pakistan s relations with Iran, which can be a “source of much needed energy” and a bilateral gas pipeline project will open up a new chapter of deep engagement, PM said.

 

The premier reiterated Pakistan s support for an “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process” in Afghanistan and said Islamabad “is ready to lend any help in this regard”.

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