ISLAMABAD  - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that both Pakistan and United Kingdom enjoy close bilateral relations, which are deeply embedded in history and tradition. He said the relations between the two states needed to be taken to the next level through mutual cooperation in the fields of defence, science, technology and trade.

The PM expressed these views in a meeting with the members of a British delegation headed by British Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammonds, which called on him at the Prime Minister House. Nawaz Sharif emphasized on the need to increase the level of defence cooperation between the defence forces of the two countries. Both the sides also agreed to enhance the level of cooperation on counter-terrorism measures.

During the meeting, post-withdrawal Afghanistan scenarios also came under discussion. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan wants to see a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, which is essential for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.

The prime minister thanked the British government for extending support to Pakistan’s case for GPS-Plus status in the European Union. The prime minister said that Pakistan would benefit in terms of increase in trade volume through this concession.

Federal Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatimi and other senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office were also present during the meeting.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and Britain on Tuesday have agreed to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism strategies.

The agreement reached during a meeting of visiting British delegation led by Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammonds which called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan and Britain need to enhance mutual cooperation in the fields of defence‚ science‚ technology and trade.

About Afghanistan‚ he said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is essential for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.

Nawaz thanked the British government for support to Pakistan's case for GPS-Plus status.

Earlier, the delegation also held a meeting with Defence Production Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain and Secretary Defence Asif Yasin Malik in Islamabad.

Leader of the British delegation acknowledged the sacrifices offered by Pakistani Armed Forces and the people in the war on terror.

He said Pakistan's efforts for peace need to be recognised.

He hoped that the positive approach of the new government will help the region attain peace and stability.

Rana Tanveer Hussain told the delegation that Pakistan's defence industry is on a thriving path of indigenisation.

It has a capability to offer UK state of the art defence items produced at the local defence industry.