ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday said that Pakistan would extend all possible help to the initiatives of neighbouring countries to curb and eliminate the menace of terrorism.

He was talking to the Foreign Minister of Maldives Dunya Maumoon who called on him at Prime Minister’s House and discussed bilateral relations with specific focus on enhancing the trade relations between the two countries.

The Prime Minister informed the visiting foreign minister that Pakistan is successfully waging a relentless war against terrorism and the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb has produced positive results, which would obviously have a positive impact on the overall economic activity in the country. Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan attaches high importance to its relations with Maldives and these relations are based on cordiality and common interests.

The prime minister said that both the countries need to benefit from the vast potential in the area of trade, and Pakistan would continue to support Maldives under the Special Assistance Programme for South Asia.

Pakistan and Maldives need to specifically enhance their cooperation in the field of tourism to benefit from the huge potential in this regard, he added.

Dunya Maumoon extended invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit Maldives and delivered the letter of the President of Maldives on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and Maldives agreed to further deepen their relations by promoting people to people contacts and cooperation in various fields including trade, tourism, sports, health, education and narcotics.

This was agreed during a meeting of Maldives Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon with Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister at Minister of Foreign Affairs. Separately, she also met Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi.

The Adviser to the Prime Minister welcomed the Foreign Minister and her delegation to Pakistan. He noted that relations between Pakistan and the Maldives were marked by cordiality, mutual respect and commonality of interests.

They expressed satisfaction over the trajectory of the brotherly bilateral relations between the two countries and agreed to maintain the momentum. Regional and International issues were also discussed.

The Adviser observed that the tourism industry of Maldives has been growing and Pakistan would like to develop cooperation in this sector.

The Adviser to the Prime Minister stated that the development of shipping lines between the two countries holds a lot of importance and efforts should be made towards this. He emphasized the need to follow up on the MoUs/Agreements in the fields of sports, health, education, and narcotics, which were signed during the visit of the President of the Maldives to Pakistan in May 2015.

The visiting foreign minister stressed the need to further strengthen bilateral relations by promoting people to people contacts. She felt that exchange of students, artists, and other professionals will foster goodwill among the people of the two countries.

She also appreciated the support that Pakistan has extended to the Maldives at different regional and international for a.