ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Sunday said achieving economic development was foremost priority of the government that was pursuing various plans, including riddance from energy crisis for the country's economic revival.

In an interview with German television channel N24, the Prime Minister said the government was encouraging the private sector so the German investors should take advantage by investing in different sectors, including energy and agriculture.

To a question, he said the government's duty was to run the state's affairs, not the business, factories or the restaurants, reiterating that the government was encouraging private sector to invest in energy and other sectors.

He said Pakistan had vast potential in agriculture sector and had a distinction in production of wheat, cotton and sugarcane.

He said Pakistan exported sugar, cotton, wheat and rice and was self-sufficient in production of these crops.

He said there was a great scope of investment in agriculture, livestock and forestry in Pakistan and Germany could prove to be an important partner in this regard.

Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan desired peace and would extend maximum possible cooperation for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He said elimination of terrorism would serve the interests of both the countries. The Afghan President, he added, was awaiting to visit Pakistan.

He emphasized that Pakistan and Afghanistan would have to fully cooperate with each other to exterminate extremism and terrorism. The strong economic ties between the two countries were also equally essential.

"Both the countries will have to ensure that their territories are not used for cross-border terrorism. It requires stringent actions," he remarked.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan would extend maximum cooperation to Afghanistan to achieve these objectives.

He said the government had launched operation against militants in North Waziristan and "we are resolved to eliminate any outfit or group involved in terrorism."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif leaves for Germany today on a two-day official visit at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

According to the Prime Minister's media section, the Premier during his visit will hold talks with Chancellor Merkel. He will also meet with President of the German Parliament.

Nawaz will also address a Business Forum organized by the Pakistan Board of Investment, which is expected to be attended by a large number of German business executives and investors.

The visit of the Prime Minister will help in strengthening the exiting ties between the two countries.

Pakistan and Germany enjoy close and cordial relations. Germany is Pakistan's fourth largest trading partner globally and the largest in the EU. Pakistan's bilateral trade with Germany stands at 2.5 billion dollars annually.

The two countries have a strong collaboration in various other fields.

There is also a strong Pakistanis diaspora of over 70,000 living is Germany. In addition, there are more than 2,300 students from Pakistan in German universities.

Premier Sharif has just concluded his three-day official visit to China and landed back in his hometown Lahore on Sunday.


Staff Reporter from Lahroe adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif have returned to Pakistan after a successful visit to China.

Speaking on his return to Lahore, the chief minister said that Chinese leaders have expressed full confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said the agreements for investment of billions of dollars had been signed during the visit of China. He said the projects with the cooperation of China will be implemented with speed and transparency. He said no hurdle could be created in Pak-China friendship.

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif has expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the death of sister of Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Punjab Minister for Law, Finance and Excise and Taxation.

In a condolence message, the chief minister prayed that may Allah Almighty rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage and strength to the bereaved family to bear the irreparable loss with fortitude.