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Australia should treat India and Pakistan equally: Chairman of Senate Defence Committee

Australiaian delegation meet pak defence committee2Australiaian delegation meet pak defence committeeAustraliaian delegation meet pak defence committee1Islamabad: Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of Senate Defence Committee has said that Australia should treat India and Pakistan at par without any double standards on nuclear issue so that regional peace and stability could be ensured and the region may prosper. He expressed these views in a meeting with Peter Varghese, Secretary Department of  Foreign Affairs and trade, Commonwealth of Australia.

He said that Pakistan values its relationship with Australia and desires to further strengthen the multidimensional bilateral cooperation in different fields including trade, agriculture, education, energy and security etc.

During the meeting Senators from different political parties including Senator Dr. Saeeda Iqbal, Chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production, Farhatullah Babar, Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Mrs. Sehar Kamran and Abdul Rauf were also present.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed pointed out that education is the key area for Pakistan, Australian cooperation. He lauded the humanitarian assistance and welcomed the Australian role as part of Asia in Asian century.  Senator Mushahid and other Senators expressed their serious concern over Australian government deal with India on uranium and termed it a violation of previous pledges to promote non-proliferation, while treating Pakistan differently. “It seems that politics has won over the principles”, Mushahid remarked.

Dr. Saeeda Iqbal, Chairperson of Senate Defence Production Committee underscored the need for further enhancing cooperation in education and enhanced people to people contacts to bring the two friendly countries more closer. She also proposed for initiation of teacher exchange programes to learn from each other experiences.
Senator Farhatullah Babar   thanked the government and people of Australia for assistant provided for rehabilitation of floods affectees and IDPs. He however pointed out that the travel advisory is uncalled for and sends a wrong message about Pakistan.
Senator Col (retd.) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi emphasized the need for more closer cooperation to counter terrorism and trade and economic links.

Senator Mrs. Sehar Kamran thanked the Australian embassy’s support and cooperation   for the project on counter radicalization initiated by CPGS.  She said that collective efforts were needed to overcome the menace. She also expressed here reservation on Australian support to India on Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), saying that the deal has created imbalance in the region. She said that Pakistan is a responsible country and non-discriminatory approach needs to be adopted as Pakistan’s quest is for peaceful purposes. Senator Abdul Rauf also asked about Australian role in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of troupes from Afghanistan in 2014.
Peter Varghese, Secretary Department of   Foreign Affairs and trade observed that Pakistan is an important country for Australia and we keenly desire to enhance trade and economic links with Pakistan for mutual benefit of the two sides. He also offered that Australia can assist Pakistan in coal sector to meet the energy demands. He agreed that education is a key factor in Pakistan and Australian relationship and promised to further explore new avenues of cooperation for mutual benefit.
He expressed his satisfaction to visit Pakistan and said that such interactions would provide impetus to our bilateral cooperation in future.
Additional Secretary Senate, Sharifullah Khan Wazir and were also present on the occasion.

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