ISLAMABAD–A parliamentary delegation comprising members of the European Union (EU) paid a visit to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Tuesday.
The delegation comprised Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the EU to Pakistan Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Chief EU Observer Michael Gahler, Sajjad Karim, Richard Howitt and Jean Lambert.
The prime minister emphasised in the meeting that Pakistan lays great importance on its relations with EU countries and that he is in favour of regular consultations between the Pakistani and EU parliaments.
Speaking to the delegation, the prime minister noted with satisfaction that the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) status granted to Pakistan in 2013 had greatly benefited its economy as its exports to the EU had increased to around US $1 billion.
In response to a question, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated that the Kashmir conflict should be resolved in light of UN resolutions.
The divided, mostly Muslim Himalayan region of Kashmir is at the heart of hostility between the neighbours and was the cause of two of their three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.
On Jan 5, 1949, the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan’s resolution stated that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan would be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite. But the Indian government has been opposed to a referendum, excusing itself by saying that the irregularities in Kashmir must be eradicated before carrying out any referendum.
The delegation was assured by the prime minister that his leadership is committed to eradicating the menace of terrorism from the country.
The delegation informed the prime minister that this was their first official visit to Pakistan during the current government’s tenure.
They also expressed their condolences for the victims of the attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School in on Dec 16 last year.