Lahore - Punjaab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan wants friendly relations with all the countries of the     region especially neighboring countries and the PML-N government is pursuing an effective policy in this regard.

Talking to Shuja Nawaz of a Washington-based Think Tank South Asia Centre who met him here on Friday, Shahbaz Sharif said there was a need to resolve all issues with India including Kashmir through a meaningful dialogue. He said Pakistan and India will have to come out of the past to move forward. Matters of mutual interest, Pak-India relations and regional situation were discussed in the meeting. Provincial Minister for Irrigation Yawar Zaman, Minister for Industry Muhammad Shafique, Member Provincial Assembly Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Secretary Industry, Secretary Information, Chairman Punjab Investment Board and concerned officers were also present.

While underscoring the need for maximizing exchange of delegations between Pakistan and India as well as increasing the volume of trade between the two countries the chief minister said, “Both the countries need to come out of the past and look forward”.

Referring to energy shortage of Pakistan, Shahbaz said sincere efforts were being made to overcome this problem. He said government had selected six sites for setting up coal-based power plants and a prominent Chinese company had expressed interest in establishing coal power plants in Sahiwal. He said China was playing an important role in the progress and development of Pakistan and the investment package of $32 billion for energy and other sectors was a proof of that fact. He said several Chinese companies were already working on various projects in the country.

The chief minister claimed that economy of the country was improving due to timely and solid steps taken by PML-N government under the command of Nawaz Sharif while foreign investment had also gone up. He said special incentives were being offered to foreign investors in energy, infrastructure and other sectors. Shahbaz said water is a blessing of Allah and its wastage could be checked through better management. He said government was also paying attention to generation of hydel power and approval had been granted for construction of Dasu Dam. He said work was also being carried out for construction of more water reservoirs. Shuja Nawaz said continuity of democratic process in Pakistan was a good omen and better relations between India and Pakistan were necessary for stability in the region.