LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif called on British Home Secretary Theresa Mary May at London on Wednesday and discussed with her the issue of drone attacks and terrorism.

Agreeing that the joint efforts are needed for stamping out terrorism and extremism, the two leaders laid stress on enhanced cooperation between the Punjab government and the UK to get rid of the menace. Recruitment of prosecutors, educational reforms, training of forensic science laboratory staff and anti-terrorism measures also came under discussion.

Raising concerns over the US drone attacks inside Pakistan, Shahbaz said collateral damage was caused by these pilotless plane strikes. “The US drone attacks have been killing many innocent people in the tribal belt of Pakistan,” the chief minister said. “If terrorism is killing innocent people, many innocent lives are also being lost in the drone attacks and relatives of victims descend into extremism to revenge the killings.”

Shahbaz said since such attacks were against the Pakistani sovereignty, the Punjab government had taken the principled stance of refusing such a foreign aid that compromised national dignity. The Punjab government has been carrying out development programmes since 2011 when it refused to accept foreign aid, the chief minister added.

He informed the British home secretary that with the cooperation of Britain-based Pakistani Dr Amanat, the command and control system on the pattern of London security system, was being established.

The chief minister reiterated his government’s resolve to continue with efforts for maintaining peace and thanked the British home secretary for extending support to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led administration for the cause. Shahbaz also felicitated May on the peaceful London Olympic Games.