Pakistan values bilateral relations with Japan: Asif

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Mohammad Asif Tuesday said Pakistan valued its bilateral relations with Japan and regarded it as an important friend and development partner.

The minister was talking to a Japanese delegation headed by Kazuyuki NAKANE, Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, here.

He said cooperation between two countries particularly in the areas of energy, education, trade, investment, security and capacity building needed to be improved further.

During the meeting, the Japanese Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs said that Pakistan had played an historic role in the world efforts to eliminate terrorism and mentioned that its efforts were acclaimed and acknowledged worldwide with great esteem.

He said that his country supported Pakistan in combating terrorism and strongly condemned the incident of terrorism at Army Public School in Peshawar.

He also expressed satisfaction on the steps taken by government for the protection of Japanese working in Pakistan.

Khawaja Asif said Pakistan had firm resolve as a nation to uproot the cycle of terrorism and violence with international support.

He said, “We are cognizant of the security of our foreign guests who are contributing for the development of our country and every possible step has been taken for their security.”

He also highlighted the need of Japanese assistance in higher education which he said, would improve the standard of living in the region and eliminate poverty.

Seeking assistance for civil nuclear technology, he said that Pakistan maintained a principled stance on transfer of civil nuclear technology, therefore, it deserved cooperation in this regard considering its growing energy needs.

He said transfer of nuclear technology should be inclusive and non-discriminatory.

He expressed his concerns over civil nuclear deal between Japan and India saying such discrimination can disturb the balance of power in the fragile South Asia region as well reignite the nuclear race.

He proposed that as Pakistan was compliant of IAEA rules and international treaties, similar nuclear deal should also be offered to Pakistan as well.