ISLAMABAD – British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday said she was looking forward to visiting Pakistan, in the first half of 2017.

The British prime minister  expressed these views as she walked into a meeting of Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan with National Security Adviser (NSA) Sir Mark Lyall Grant at 10 Downing Street, London.

Speaking to the Interior Minister, Prime Minister May conveyed her good wishes to the Prime Minister and the people of Pakistan, according to a message received here from London.

The interior minister congratulated Ms May on the assumption of the office of the Prime Minister and hoped that relations between the two countries would achieve higher profile during her leadership.

He further hoped that cooperation at all levels, between Pakistan and the UK, would receive a great boost and momentum after her forthcoming visit to Pakistan.

Nisar also emphasized that Prime Minister May’s visit to Pakistan is most relevant and timely in the context of regional scenario prevailing in South Asia and would open new channels of bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation and coordination.

In his meeting with NSA, the interior minister impressed upon him the need for the international community, particularly friends, to focus and react to the Indian intransigence in the region.

He said that India’s hegemonic stance and its aggressive posturing was a threat to peace and stability in the region.

Nisar stated that Pakistan would not be cowed down by such tactics, adding that “we reserve the right to avenge the blatant and unprovoked killing of our soldiers.”

He further stressed that the world and our friends needed to do more to counter Indian designs against Pakistan and should stop seeing South Asia through the Indian prism.

Discussing ongoing war against terrorism, the interior minister said that menace of terrorism was a threat to the region and the international peace and tranquillity.

He said that people of Pakistan and its national security institutions were determined to completely wiping out terrorism from its soil.

Nisar also shared the gains made through Operation Zarb-e-Azb, and achievements made under National Action Plan (NAP).

The minister said that overall security situation in Pakistan has improved significantly during the last three years.

About regional situation, the interior minister informed the British NSA that, “a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan”. — APP