Pakistan premier leaves for Malaysia to attend D-8 summit

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Islamabad, Jul 7 (UNI) Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani today left on a three-day visit to Malaysia to attend the D-8 Summit in Kuala Lumpur.

Talking to mediapersons before departure, Mr Gilani said the Developing Eight (D-8) summit would deliberate upon various proposals to enhance trade and economic ties among member countries.

He said ways and means would also be considered to confront the impact of rising oil prices and overcome food shortage.

The Prime Minister would also meet his Malaysian counterpart Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during his visit.

Pakistan and Malaysia signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in November with the aim of boosting bilateral trade, which in 2007 was more than one billion dollars.

Officials from the two countries have been working on doubling this year's trade under the FTA. Leaders from Egypt, Iran, Nigeria and Turkey are also participating in the D-8 summit being held from July 4-8.

About yesterday's blast near the Lal Masjid, which killed 19 people, Mr Gilani said the suicide attack was a conspiracy against the government and an attempt to destablise the country.

He said those involved in such heinous acts wanted to give an impression that the government was inefficient and had failed to deliver.

The Prime Minister said foolproof security arrangements were put in place for a conference in Lal Masjid but the suicide bombers could not be stopped.

He expressed the government's determination to fight terrorism, saying political steps were being taken to overcome the scourge.

Mr Gilani said a thorough investigation was underway to unmask the culprits of the blast. He appreciated the police personnel for sacrificing their lives during their duty.

UNI XC SKB PM1528

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