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National

February 17, 2015
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British minister vows to bolster Pak-UK security partnership

National

February 17, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Kingdom will deepen cooperation to deal with the mounting security challenges and the Britain will provide technical support for enhancing the capacity of implementing the National Action Plan against terrorism, cyber crimes and money laundering.
These views were expressed by UK Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude along with British High Commissioner Philip Barton in an exclusive interview with The News/Jang here on Monday.
Cabinet Office Minister of the United Kingdom Francis Maude is currently on a visit to Pakistan to share the British government’s experience of driving a programme of Civil Service reform, improving public sector efficiency and digital service delivery. He has held meetings with Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman and Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Javed Aslam.
The visiting Cabinet Office Minister of the United Kingdom Francis Maude was scheduled to meet Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal but the meeting did not take place as Ahsan Iqbal was in Karachi with the prime minister.
During meetings with the Pakistani officials, the issue to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries came under discussion. The United Kingdom expressed its desire to further strengthen the relationship and enhance bilateral cooperation.
Cabinet Office Minister of the United Kingdom Francis Maude emphasised the UK’s assistance to Pakistan and this assistance included helping Pakistan develop a counterterrorism strategy, providing expertise and equipment to tackle the scourge of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and improving the security of the country’s critical infrastructure.
He said the British prime minister had a strong wish to visit Pakistan.The visiting British Cabinet office Minister said transparency was the key to improve different

sectors and there was a need for a new culture for bringing the reforms in all the sectors.
He said the Britain was cooperating with Pakistan by providing expertise and equipment to tackle the scourge of IEDs.To a question regarding cooperation on the issue of cyber security, he said the issue of cooperation in cyber security was not restricted to any time limit and no country could tackle this issue alone and international community untidily should work on this issue. “Pakistan and Britain are closely cooperating on this issue and we will provide all-out assistance to Pakistan in this regard,” he said.
He said the United Kingdom was providing its technical assistance to Pakistan to tackle the issue of money laundering.To a question on the energy cooperation between Pakistan and United Kingdom, the visiting Cabinet Office Minister of the United Kingdom Francis Maude said Pakistan was not alone in facing the energy crisis as many countries were facing the same problem. “This issue could not be resolved in a day or two but need a time to cope with it and both the countries — Pakistan and the United Kingdom — may share each other experiences to resolve the energy crisis,” he added.
In reply to another question, he said Pakistan’s reform agenda was extensive and the Pakistan’s government economic reforms would help to improve the financial system of Pakistan as with the improvement in the financial system would create job opportunities for the youth and also brought betterment in the lives of people.
He termed Pakistan an ideal place for foreign investment and the regulation of the institutions and eradication of the corruption would create a suitable atmosphere for the foreign investment.
Sharing his experiences, the visiting Cabinet Office Minister of the United Kingdom Francis Maude said that reform agenda was not being followed properly in Pakistan.He said though there was a firm resolve to bring the reforms yet there was a need to change the culture as there was frustration in all the sectors and this was a basic issue.
Cabinet Office Minister of the United Kingdom Francis Maude stressed the need for joint efforts to eliminate the menace of terrorism as the terrorism had created bad effects on Pakistan. “Terrorism is an international issue and there is a need for collective efforts by the international community against the terrorism and the whole world has to make united efforts against the terrorism,” he added.
He said that reforms in the civil service were need of the hour and the structure of the civil service could be improved through reforms. “Pakistan has to follow the United Kingdom where the civil servants were accountable before the people and their elected parliament,” he added.
Cabinet Office Minister of the United Kingdom Francis Maude said the corruption could be eliminated through implementation of rules and regulation strictly and it could be achieved through creating conducive environment.
He said that in the Westminster model of democracy was being followed in United Kingdom and Pakistan so both the countries were facing similar challenges.The minister said Pakistan was taking right steps in the war against terrorism and it was in their collective benefit to get success in the war against terrorism.
He said the United Kingdom appreciated the sacrifices of Pakistan in the war against terrorism.He said the Speaker’s conference of the Commonwealth countries in Pakistan in November this year in which parliamentary delegation of 53 countries would participate and it would be a great achievement for Pakistan.

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