–Mahathir will meet premier, president to discuss economic and bilateral ties
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday received Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Nur Khan Airbase on his arrival to Pakistan on a three-day visit and will participate in Pakistan Day ceremony as the chief guest.
Mahathir, who was accompanied by a high-level delegation, was given a 21-gun salute upon his arrival. The Malaysian premier is visiting the country on the invitation of PM Imran Khan, who also idolises the Malaysian PM for his political career.
PM’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood said memoranda of understanding (MoUs) covering $800-$900 million worth of investments with Malaysian investors would be signed on Friday.
He said the memoranda will cover deals in IT, telecom, power generation, textile, agriculture, and halal food industries.
“We believe Malaysia will be an opening for us to the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries,” Dawood said.
As per a Foreign Office statement, the Malaysian prime minister’s bilateral engagements also include a call on President Arif Alvi, and a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, followed by delegation-level talks.
A session of round-table talks will also be held between the business communities of the two countries which will also have the two premiers in attendance.
Earlier on March 13, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor confirmed that attendance of Malaysian Prime Minister at the annual Pakistan Day parade.
Pakistani High Commissioner in Malaysia Nafees Zakaria called on Mahathir Mohamad in November last and extended an invitation to attend Pakistan’s National Day on March 23 which was, subsequently, accepted by his office.
Meanwhile, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal, in a statement said the visit of the Malaysian prime minister will further cement the existing brotherly and friendly relations between the two countries.
He said the focus of the visit will be on enhancing economic, trade, investment, and defence ties for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries.
Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also each offered Islamabad loan packages of $3 billion.
During a visit in February, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had signed investment agreements worth $20 billion with Islamabad, including a $10 billion refinery and petrochemicals complex in the southwestern port city of Gwadar.
Neighbouring China has pledged nearly $60 billion for energy and road and rail infrastructure projects as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), known as China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).