ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has underscored the need for United States and Pakistan to work closely not only for the stability, peace and socio-economic development of the region but also in fighting rising tide of intolerance and extremism that appears to have swept the entire globe.

He said this in a meeting with US delegation headed by US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken here at Punjab House yesterday.

The US Deputy Secretary of State expressed his appreciation for the efforts that Pakistan has been making for regional peace and development. He remarked that successful holding of Heart of Asia Conference was a clear manifestation of Pakistan’s sincerity to promote security, peace and development not only in the neighbouring Afghanistan but also the entire region. The minister said that while there is a need to make collective efforts against extremist elements, individuals and groups, the international community must not close its eyes to certain actions at the state level in some countries that appear to be targeting certain communities and specific groups. He said that hatred and vindictiveness at any level would only sow the seeds of discontent and would be counterproductive towards ensuring lasting peace.

The US Deputy Secretary of State appreciated Minister’s efforts especially towards checking human trafficking and illegal movement of people and hoped that the new policy on INGOs would facilitate rather than hinder their work. He assured his government’s all possible support to Pakistan in this regard.

Separately, German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Sabine Sparwasser called on the interior minister.

German Ambassador Ina Lepel and other senior officials from the two sides were also present in the meeting.

During the meeting, Pak-German bilateral relations, mutual cooperation between the two countries, Pak-European Union (EU) Re-admission Agreement and regional situation were discussed.

Discussing Pak-EU Re-admission Agreement, the interior minister called for German support towards the efforts that Pakistan is making to check illegal immigration and human trafficking. He said that the government is committed to take strict action against human traffickers.

and against those who facilitate illegal movement of the people. Equally important for us is to ensure that our people are dealt as per law in the foreign lands, he said.

The new policy vis-a-vis international non-governmental organizations (INGO) also came under discussion.