–PM reiterates resolve to steer country out of crisis in address to Doha-based expats
–Meets chairmen, senior representatives of different Qatari business groups
DOHA: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday met Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the Diwan-e-Amiri in Doha and discussed with him the reduction in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) prices and the provision of job opportunities for Pakistani youth in Qatar.
Upon the arrival of the premier, a red carpet was rolled out to welcome him at the Diwan-e-Amiri.
Khan was presented with a guard of honour by the Qatari Emiri guards and the national anthems of both countries were played on the occasion.
Bilateral relations, with a focus on economic cooperation between the two countries, were discussed during the meeting. He also attended a dinner hosted by the Qatari PM. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and others.
The Qatari foreign minister in a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last year had offered 100,000 jobs for skilled and semi-skilled workers from Pakistan.
PM Imran has also previously called for increased trade between the two countries as well.
The trade between the two countries had increased by 104 per cent to about $1.6 billion in 2017 from $782 million in 2016.
Moreover, the government decided to request Qatar for a reduction in the price of LNG and its supplies on delayed payments under the existing 15-year supply contract. The government has been criticising the contracts signed by the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government for the import of LNG from the Arab country at a price equivalent to 13.39 per cent of the international benchmark crude oil price.
Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that “the government would abide by the 15-year agreement with Qatar and another 10-year contract with another supplier that became the basis of the final LNG price with Qatar”.
STEERING COUNTRY OUT OF CRISIS:
Separately, PM Imran reiterated his resolve to steer the country out of the prevailing crisis situation.
Addressing overseas Pakistanis in Doha, he said when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was sworn in, it was just like “four wickets down for 20 runs on the board”.
“But I know very well how to play amid pressure and the green passport will soon regain its position in the world,” he said.
Terming overseas Pakistani an asset of the nation, PM Imran appreciated their contribution for uplifting the foreign reserves of the country.
“I’m fully aware about the problems being faced by you [overseas Pakistanis], the premier maintained.
“Those sending money to Pakistan are heroes and those doing laundering money are villains of the country,” he said and expressed his determination to continue fighting the “villains”.
The premier said the time was not far away when people would not go overseas in search of jobs and Pakistan itself would become an economic hub.
Citing the example of Qatar, he said an honest leadership could uplift any country as it spends money generated from the gas sector for the prosperity and uplift of the country.
Imran said Pakistan had a huge potential for tourism and it could earn billions of dollars from this sector. “Pakistan has fascinating beaches, snow-clad peaks, religious sights of Sikhism, Buddhism, and Hinduism to attract a large number of tourists from across the globe.”
MEETINGS WITH BUSINESS GROUPS:
Later, the premier also met the chairmen and senior representatives of various Qatari business organisations and groups.
Among those who called on PM Imran were Qatar Business Association Chairman Sheikh Faisal Bin Qasim Bin Faisal Al-Thani, Supreme Committee for Legacy and Delivery (FIFA 2022) Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi, Qatar Chamber Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al Thani and Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser bin Khaled Al Thani of the NBK Group.