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Pakistan seeks German defence equipment

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan asked Germany on Saturday to allow export of defence equipment so that it could fight terrorists in a better way.

Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi“Pakistan urges Germany to liberalise its export control policy towards it so that we could get export licences for defence equipment … to enhance our capacity to counter terrorism,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said at a joint press conference with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle after their bilateral talks.

The talks focused on a Pakistani proposal for initiating strategic dialogue, enhancing investment, strengthening economic ties and boosting defence cooperation.

Pakistan has been uneasy over European countries’ reluctance to meet its defence and security needs while asking it to intensify its counter-terrorism efforts.

According to sources, the German foreign minister informed Mr Qureshi that European Union’s restrictions on arms export were stopping his country from considering Pakistan’s request for defence equipment.

At the news conference, however, Mr Westerwelle reiterated Berlin’s desire to extend full support to Pakistan in its fight against terrorism. He also spoke about the need for cooperation between Pakistan and Germany for fighting terrorism.

“Our common engagement is necessary to fight against every terrorist attack. And we very much appreciate the efforts Pakistan is making in the fight against terrorism. We encourage Pakistan and Afghanistan to cooperate closely in the interest of security and stability. And in Germany you have friends who will support in this way.”

The two sides also discussed the situation in Afghanistan.

Mr Westerwelle, who is on a two-day visit to Pakistan, arrived in Islamabad by road after his plane had to be diverted to Lahore because of fog and poor visibility in the capital.

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