Islamabad, May 27: UK Defence Secretary Des Browne has reportedly said that Pakistan and Afghanistan should unite to tackle extremism because the menace was posing a serious threat to global security.
Browne is currently in Pakistan for a series of talks on regional security, following a three-day visit to Afghanistan. During his Pakistan visit, Browne called on the country's Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) Tariq Majid, and Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Kiyani. "Pakistan and Afghanistan share common problems and I am encouraged by both countries' commitment to work together, with the international community's support, towards tackling them," the Daily Times quoted him as saying after talks with Pakistani civil and military leaders.
Browne also discussed several bilateral issues and received an update on the political and security situation in FATA, a statement released by the British High Commission said. "The UK is committed to doubling development spending in Pakistan to almost $1 billion over the next three years, and we are prioritising good governance, growth and the delivery of basic services," he was quoted as saying in the statement.
During his meeting with the Defence minister, the UK Secretary said that Britain supported the new government's initiative to achieve peace in the Tribal Areas through dialogue. "The UK supports the agreement and the process of reconciliation with the insurgents as initiated by the Government of Pakistan," Defence Ministry officials quoted him as saying.
He also admired Pakistan's key role in combating the menace of extremism.
Des Browne also called on CJCSC Gen Tariq Majid at Joint Staff Headquarters and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest. According to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement, the CJCSC told Browne that Pakistan was committed to nuclear non-proliferation but wanted the international community to follow a non-discriminatory approach. During a discussion on regional security, with a specific focus on the war against terrorism and recent developments in Afghanistan and the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, the CJCSC called for a holistic and comprehensive approach to attain the ultimate objective of peace.