LAHORE - British High Commissioner Philip Barton called on Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, on Monday and shared views on the matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations and promotion of cooperation in various sectors.

The chief minister said that Pakistan highly values its relations with Britain and both the countries enjoyed strong friendly relations. He appreciated British cooperation in education, health, skills development, law and order and other sectors.

Stressing the need for improving trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Britain, the chief minister said that solid measures should be adopted for this purpose.

He said that various programmes in education, health and skills development sectors were being successfully implemented in Punjab with the cooperation of British Department for International Development (DFID).

“Education is of vital importance for curbing the trends of extremism and terrorism, therefore, Punjab government is paying special attention to the uplift of education sector and state-of-the-art Danish schools have been established in backward districts of the province. The Punjab government wants to expand the scope of cooperation with Britain for the development of social sectors,” the CM maintained.

Referring to National Action Plan against terrorism, Shahbaz Sharif said that all political parties of the country had displayed exemplary unity and agreed on National Action Plan against terrorism.

 He said that steps taken under NAP were yielding positive results. He said that the whole Pakistani nation has united to crush terrorists as terrorism is a big hurdle in the process of national development and prosperity.

He said that terrorists displayed extreme brutality by killing innocent children in Peshawar and this tragic incident had been strongly condemned throughout the world.

He said that this incident of brutality was unprecedented. He said that every Pakistani was grieved over the martyrdom of innocent children in Peshawar.

Shahbaz Sharif said that more than 50 thousand Pakistanis have sacrificed their lives in the war against terrorism and these include officers and Jawans of armed forces, police as well as common citizens. He said that the supreme sacrifices rendered by Pakistani nation in the war against terrorism are unprecedented.

He said that the war against terrorism is aimed at survival of the future generations and Pakistani nation will win this war at any cost.

The chief minister said that terrorism would be rooted out and Pakistan wuold be made a haven of peace in the real sense. He said that terrorists would be eradicated from the country with the force of unity and those playing with the future of Pakistan would be brought to their logical end. War against terrorism will continue till complete victory. He said that Pakistan is facing the challenge of terrorism and extremism and this menace will be eliminated with the force of unity, he opined.

The British High Commissioner said that Britain attaches great importance to its relations with Pakistan and cooperation with Pakistan will continue in different sectors.

He said that Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has taken practical measures for the progress and prosperity of the people of the province which is highly commendable. He said that Shahbaz Sharif is serving the people with commitment and determination.