Addressing the National Security Conference here, which was attended by ministers, chief ministers, political leaders of all major parties, army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and other senior civil and military officials including ISI chief Lt-Gen Zaheerul Islam, Sharif noted with dissatisfaction that his country was not having good ties with neighbours. The Prime Minister mentioned India by saying that it is time for having good relations with it.
He hoped that the planned meeting of the foreign secretaries will help move the ties forward. Sharif also said Pakistan wants to improve ties with Afghanistan and hoped that the new leadership in that country will cooperate with him. The Pakistani leader also criticised moderate cleric Tahir-ul Qadri who has been challenging the government with a wave of protests resulting in clashes with police in Punjab.
Sharif offered olive branch to former cricketer Imran Khan, the chief of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf, saying that the government was ready to settle the issue of rigging allegations by recounting the ballots in some constituencies. Khan has given call for a mammoth rally on August 14 in Islamabad to protest against the alleged rigging of last year polls which brought Sharif to power.
The prime minister also said that economic outlook of the county was changing and promised to tackle the crippling energy crisis and terrorism in the country. Later, the military leadership briefed the political leaders about the operation in restive North Waziristan tribal region which was launched on June 15 to eliminate militants from the area.