SARAJEVO (Bosnia) - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Chairman of Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (prime minister) Dr Denis Zvizdic on Wednesday agreed to strengthen ties in the field of trade, defence, agriculture and textiles.

Addressing a joint press conference following their meeting here at the Institutions Building (Parliament), the two leaders expressed commitment for establishment of a Joint Commission to further strengthen their countries’ mutual relations.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he had a detailed exchange of views on regional and international matters with the chairman, and added that Pakistan stood committed to its support for the progress and prosperity of people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He said it was a great pleasure visiting the “friends and well-wishers” of the beautiful and historic city of Sarajevo and expressed gratitude to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in advancing ties with Pakistan.

He said the high-level visit was part of boosting momentum in bilateral relationship and added the he concluded with chairman “the most productive discussion” that focused on entire spectrum of bilateral relations and further cooperation in trade, investment, defence, culture and education.

Nawaz Sharif said cooperation in power sector and the energy crisis that Pakistan was facing at present, came under discussion. He mentioned that Pakistan had large coal reserves in Sindh, while Bosnia had expertise in hydropower which could be shared.

He said infrastructure development mainly construction of motorways and highways being built in both Pakistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina was discussed.

He mentioned that Bosnia had a very vibrant production in wood, textile industry and thanked the government of Bosnia for inviting Pakistanis to display their products at an exhibition in their country.

He expressed satisfaction that the two countries had agreed to sign visa abolition of their holders of diplomatic and official passports.

The prime minister said Pakistan’s growth rate had gone up and invited the Bosnian businessmen and trade chambers to take opportunities offered by the country’s business conducive environment.

He invited the chairman of councils of ministers to visit Pakistan, saying `Long live the friendship of Pakistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina’.

Dr Zvizdic welcomed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and termed Pakistan a “sincere friend” of his country.

He thanked Pakistan for extending assistance to Bosnia in a number of sectors and also widely recognizing its position and sovereignity at the international level.

He mentioned that the Pak-Bosnia relations had moved to a new phase in the fields of economy and trade, with increase bilateral trade during last 12 months.

He said the meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif focused on matters of common interest, with areas identified for cooperation particularly in agriculture, textile and defence.

“We would focus on developing relations in these three sectors, which would lead to the overall strengthening of our economic relations,” he said.

Dr Zvizdic said his government was looking forward to receive a Pakistani business delegation to explore the sectors having potential of cooperation in agriculture to display their products at an exhibition scheduled next year.

“The visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will further develop our relations and we see it as confirmation of our longstanding future cooperation,” chairman council of ministers said.

One on one meeting with Zvizdic

In a one-on-one meeting with Dr Denis Zvizdic earlier, Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan valued its ties with Bosnia and Herzegovina and would welcome joint ventures in the fields of trade, defence and culture.

He emphasided the need for greater contacts at government and people-to-people levels and between the two parliaments. He said education and cultural contacts between the two countries could help to explore development of linkages between the public sector institutions of the two countries.

The prime minister appreciated the existing cooperation between both the countries at international fora and at the level of the United Nations.

Nawaz Sharif recalled his earlier visit to Bosnia as opposition leader in the 90s during the Bosnian war wherein he had extended support to the people of Bosnia.

He also mentioned the visit of Bosnian President Bakir Izetbegovic in October 2012 to Pakistan that led the signing of two memoranda of understanding in defence and commerce sectors.

Later, the two sides led their respective sides at the delegation-level talks. Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Lt-Gen (r) Salim Nawaz were present.

PM meets Bosnian MPs 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday also met with members of the collegium of the two Chambers of Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina here and discussed ways to strengthen parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.

The prime minister in a meeting with Speaker of House of Representatives of Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sefil Dzaferovic, who led a delegation of parliamentarians, emphasised on exchange of parliamentary delegations and sharing of their respective expertise.

It was highlighted that strong links between parliaments could also help develop enhanced people-to-people contacts.

The parliamentarians of Bosnia and Herzegovina included Barisa Colak, Borjana Kristo, and Mladen Bosic.

No existence of Daesh in Pakistan

During the meeting with the Bosnian Parliamentary group, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said there was no presence of Daesh in Pakistan, adding that the country has effectively handled the threat from al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan has paid a heavy price for war against terrorism. “We have destroyed the safe havens and sanctuaries of al-Qaeda and TTP,” he said. The premier said that Pakistan is determined to end the common menace of terrorism.

Meeting with three-member Presidency 

PM Nawaz Sharif also held a meeting with members of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and discussed issues of bilateral interest.

The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a three-member body which collectively serves as head of state of Bosnia and Herzegovina; one is a Bosniac, one Croat elected from the Federation and one Serb elected from the Republika Srpska.

“The Prime Minister apprised the Presidency members that Pakistan has made significant efforts for ensuring peace in the region and in Afghanistan and mentioned its successful fight against militants on its soil,” an official of the Pakistani delegation privy to meeting said.

The prime minister also expressed commitment to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in its journey towards restoring peace in its country, he added.

Current Chairman of the Presidency Mladen Ivanic, member Bakir Izetbegovic who is the son of first Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic, and Adviser to third member Dragon Covic thanked the prime minister for the support extended by Pakistan to their country during difficult times.