Pakistan, Switzerland for enhanced cooperation in all spheres

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Pakistan, Switzerland for enhanced cooperation in all spheres

DAVOS, (Switzerland) Jan 18 (APP): Pakistan and Switzerland Thursday while noting the rich potential of their bilateral ties called for exploring new avenues of cooperation for mutual benefits.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif expressed his desire to strengthen relations with Switzerland in a meeting with President of
the Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard here on the sidelines of the
47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Nawaz Sharif is here to meet world leaders and heads of top corporate companies and share with them the Pakistan success story.
The Prime Minister said he deeply values relations with Switzerland, which were based on mutual cooperation, amity and trust.
He said Pakistan looks forward to enhancing bilateral partnership in diverse areas. He said Switzerland was a friend and an important trade and investment partner of Pakistan.
The Prime Minister said Switzerland’s objective, non-discriminatory and criteria-based approach on NSG membership was commendable.
“We hope that as part of the NSG troika, Switzerland would continue to maintain this principled stand, especially when it takes over the Chair of the group later this year. ”
The Swiss President said her county’s stance on NSG was non discriminatory and based on principles.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan was committed to
facilitate and support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and
reconciliation process as envisaged under the Quadrilateral
framework.
“We believe that security of Pakistan is directly linked to
peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Sharif added.
He said Pakistan has continued to host millions of Afghan
refugees for more than three decades. “We are still hosting around
1.5 million refugees and about an equal number of undocumented
Afghans”.
“We believe that there is a need to create necessary pull-
factors inside Afghanistan for sustained repatriation of Afghan
refugees”.
The Swiss President lauded the role played by Pakistan in
giving refuge to over three million Afghan refugees on its soil and
said Pakistan should continue to play its role in promoting good
relations with Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan wants peaceful and
amicable resolution of all outstanding issues with India.
He also expressed his deep concern over the recent
developments in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the gross
human rights violations by Indian Occupation Forces, particularly
after the extrajudicial murder of Burhan Wani, the Prime Minister
said.
He said the international Community should take notice of the
gravity of the situation and urge India to respect human rights of
the people of Kashmir and implement the UN Security Council
resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.
The Prime Minister appreciated efforts of the Swiss-Asian
Chamber of Commerce, Swiss Global Enterprise (SGE) and Swiss
Business Council (SBC) for introducing Pakistan to the Swiss
business houses, especially the Swiss SMEs.
He also thanked the Swiss government for offering postgraduate
scholarships to students from Pakistan at various public
universities in Switzerland.
The Swiss President said despite the challenges faced by
Pakistan, her government was happy to see fast progress made by the
country in economy.
She said Pakistan was progressing on the right track and said
she appreciates the economic map being pursued by his government to
promote stability in Pakistan and in the region. She said the people
of Pakistan and its armed forces have given great sacrifices against
terrorism.
The President said the Swiss companies were more than willing
to work in Pakistan in such a “positive and enabling” environment.
She said her government was also willing to work with Pakistan in
hydro power projects.
Switzerland currently ranks 5th in terms of foreign direct
investment (FDI) in Pakistan. It has traditionally run a trade
surplus with Pakistan and has been one of the country’s biggest
direct investors for many years. Many Swiss companies operate in
Pakistan, some with their own production sites. These firms are
mainly based in Karachi and employ around 12,000 people.