ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that peace and security are of paramount importance for economic growth as both of them are intertwined. “Pakistan has suffered a lot at the hands of terrorism and we cannot afford inaction anymore,” the prime minister at a meeting with parliamentarians from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) who met him at the PM’s Office Wednesday morning.Reiterating the resolve of his government to eliminate terrorism, the prime minister said: “Curbing terrorism is my government’s topmost priority. We have no option except vigorously pursuing a well-planned and coordinated strategy to find a meaningful solution to the problem.” The prime minister said, “Door to dialogue should be kept open all the time.” He further said Fata parliamentarians were the real stakeholders and their input and consultation to finalise road map for peace in the region was a must.Showing his deep pity over the lawlessness and economic backwardness in Fata due to terrorism, the prime minister said he wanted to give peace as a gift to the people of the region.Enumerating the sacrifices that Pakistani civilians and law-enforcement agencies had offered in the war on terror, the prime minister said, “We salute all those who laid down their lives or withstood the onslaught of hardships of time without being intimidated in the process.”The prime minister said the people of Pakistan had shown their utmost resilience in their hour of adversity and it is this national character and unrelenting hope for peace which will help us defeat the forces of terror.The meeting also discussed various proposals and recommendations put forward by the Fata parliamentarians to bring the area into the national mainstream.Responding to their suggestions for the uplift of Fata, the prime minister expressed the resolve of his government to institute such policies and projects in the area as would help the people of the area to play their positive and constructive role at the national level.The Fata parliamentarians reposed full confidence in the leadership of the prime minister and hoped Pakistan would be able to overcome all the crises under his visionary leadership.Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Information Minister Pervez Rashid, for Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, SAFRON Minister Lt-Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Adviser to PM on National Security Sartaj Aziz, KPK Governor Engr Shaukatullah, Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatimi, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan MPA, Pir Sabir Shah, Engr Amir Muqam, Khawaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, FATA parliamentarians and senior officials attended the meeting.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 11-Jul-2013 here.