Riyadh - Pakistan has a deep commitment to the unity of the Muslim world, and to the promotion of interfaith harmony and dialogue, we are pleased to be part of this important summit, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his interaction with King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, President Donald Trump and other leaders from the Arab and Islamic countries who gathered for the first Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister said that being the frontline state, Pakistan has rendered remarkable sacrifices in the global fight against terrorism. Choice of Saudi Arabia as the venue for the first Arab-Islamic-American Summit is appropriate, given the reverence and respect that the entire Muslim world has for this land of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
The Prime Minister appreciated the leadership of President Trump to make this Summit as his first overseas engagement, and said that this initiative of President Trump is of great symbolic significance.
The rising tide of terrorism and extremism is the most daunting challenge that the world confronts today, the Prime Minister stated. Unfortunately, Pakistan has been in the forefront of this existential struggle, bearing a disproportionately large burden, the Prime Minister highlighted.
Tens of thousands of our citizens and thousands of our security personnel have been martyred, or injured in terrorist attacks; while billions have been lost in terms of economic cost, the Prime Minister further said.
Nawaz apprised that like many other countries, Pakistan has made tough choices and taken difficult decisions to deal with the new and emerging challenges. "We have confronted terrorism with courage and conviction; and the massive human and financial costs have further strengthened our resolve," the Prime Minister further stated.
The turnaround in Pakistan both on the security and economic fronts, with the last year witnessing the lowest number of terrorist attacks in a decade, presents a good example of how political commitment, based on an across-the-board national consensus, supported by determined and well organised kinetic operations of armed forces, could bring about the desired results in countries afflicted with the scourge of extremism and terrorism, the Prime Minister informed the leaders during his short interactions during the Arab-Islamic-American Summit.
Besides His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and President Trump, the Prime Minister exchanged views with a number of other leaders including the Emir of Qatar, King of Bahrain, President of Azerbaijan, Prime Minister of Malaysia and President of Tajikistan.