Dipl: (UK High Commissioner calls on Interior Minister)

ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner to Pakistan Philip Barton called on Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan here at Punjab House on Wednesday.

Matters relating to Pak-UK bilateral relations, Interior Minister’s recent visit to UK and his meetings with the British leadership were discussed besides regional situation. The lifting of moratorium on capital punishment in Pakistan also came under discussion.

Discussing Pak-UK multifaceted bilateral relations, the Interior Minister while expressing satisfaction over the upward trajectory of the bilateral relations appreciated UK’s strong commitment and support to Pakistan for the strengthening of democracy, economy and the state institutions.

Speaking about government’s priorities, the Interior Minister said that pursuing fight against militants and extremists to its logical conclusion was the foremost priority and no effort would be spared towards this end.

He said that the concrete measures being taken under National Action Plan clearly reflect the will of the nation to rid our land from the menace of extremism and to secure peace for the country and beyond.

The issue of capital punishment in Pakistan also came under discussion. The Minister said that though it was an internal matter of Pakistan, he understands the concern of our friends in the international community on the issue.

He said that after withdrawal of the moratorium on Capital Punishment for terrorism-related cases, it was not possible to maintain a partial moratorium in other cases as that would have been discriminatory and against law and the Constitution.

He said that law does not allow partial or discriminatory implementation in any form. He further elaborated that due process will be followed, in letter and spirit, in ensuring just application of the law. He also said that Pakistan has an independent judiciary which will ensure the rights of every defendant.

The High Commissioner appreciated the efforts of the Government and the people of Pakistan towards fighting militancy and terrorism. He also assured British Government’s continued support towards strengthening social sector and state institutions of the country.

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