RIYADH – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday that Pakistan had a deep commitment to the unity of the Muslim world, and to the promotion of interfaith harmony and dialogue.
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According to a statement issued by the foreign office, during his interaction with Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, the prime minister said that being the front-line state, Pakistan had rendered remarkable sacrifices in the global fight against terrorism.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of first Arab-Islamic-American Summit in which US president Donald Trump also participated.
Expressing his pleasure to be part of the Summit, the prime minister said the choice of Saudi Arabia as the venue for the first Arab-Islamic-American Summit was appropriate, given the reverence and respect that the entire Muslim world has for this land of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
The prime minister lauded the leadership of President Trump to make this Summit his first overseas engagement, and said that this initiative of President Trump was of great symbolic significance.
“The rising tide of terrorism and extremism is the most daunting challenge that the world confronts today. Unfortunately, Pakistan has been in the forefront of this existential struggle, bearing a disproportionately large burden,” the Prime Minister highlighted.
He said tens of thousands of Pakistani citizens and thousands of the security personnel had been martyred, or injured in terrorist attacks, while billions have been lost in terms of economic cost.
The prime minister apprised that like many other countries, Pakistan had made tough choices and taken difficult decisions to deal with the new and emerging challenges.
“We have confronted terrorism with courage and conviction; and the massive human and financial costs have further strengthened our resolve,” the prime minister further stated.
The premier said the turnaround in Pakistan both on the security and economic fronts, with the last year witnessing the lowest number of terrorist attacks in a decade, presented a good example of how political commitment, based on an across-the-board national consensus, supported by determined and well organised kinetic operations of armed forces, could bring about the desired results in countries afflicted with the scourge of extremism and terrorism.
Besides King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and President Trump, the prime minister exchanged views with a number of other leaders including the Emir of Qatar, King of Bahrain, President of Azerbaijan, Prime Minister of Malaysia and President of Tajikistan. -APP