–Nishan-e-Pakistan conferred on Qatari emir
–Firdous says Qatar wants to invest in power sector to help address Pakistan’s energy woes
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Qatar on Sunday agreed to continue working closely for regional peace and stability while taking note of the progress achieved in Afghan peace talks.
Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Sunday met President Dr Arif Alvi here at Aiwan-e-Sadr.
According to the Foreign Office, talks were held in “a warm and cordial atmosphere” covered bilateral relations and regional issues.
The president complimented the emir for his astute leadership, which enabled Qatar to make major strides in energy, tourism, aviation and construction sectors.
In the regional context, the president lauded Qatar’s role in promoting efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, which was a notable contribution to regional peace.
The president admired Qatar’s efforts to promote world sports. Taking note of 70% increase in Pakistan’s exports to Qatar following direct linkage between Karachi and Hamad Ports, the president underlined the importance of increased volume of bilateral trade and enhancing and diversifying Pakistan’s exports to Qatar.
He also focused on potential for enhanced Qatari investments in diverse fields and the prospects of further employment of Pakistani workers in Qatar.
Expressing his desire to further solidify the economic content of bilateral relations, the emir evinced keen interest in enhanced bilateral collaboration in the energy sector as well as the import of food items from Pakistan.
He offered assistance in building Pakistan’s tourism potential through more Qatari investments and technical support in the hospitality industry.
Alvi also conferred Pakistan’s highest civil award Nishan-e-Pakistan on Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani “in recognition of his efforts for further fostering fraternal ties between the two brotherly countries of Pakistan and Qatar”.
Following the ceremony and a luncheon in honour of the emir, the visiting leader departed for Qatar. He was seen off by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis, Zulfikar Bukhari.
Prior to his departure at the Nur Khan airbase, he was given a briefing on JF-17 Thunder aircraft and Mushshak airplane of Pakistan Air Force.
‘SOFT IMAGE OF PAKISTAN’:
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the visit of the Qatari royal was a great “achievement” of the Prime Minister Imran Khan and the impact of the visit would be seen in all the fields in the days to come.
Talking to PTV news on Sunday, Firdous said that his credibility was worldwide proven that has introduced the soft image of the country across the globe.
About the visit, she said a ‘joint working group’ had been formed and some targets, including LNG and LPG were identified.
The special assistant further stated that Qatar wanted to invest in the power sector to help address the energy problems in Pakistan.
Firdous said that the incumbent government was committed to pave the country on the way of development and progress, resolve the problems faced by the country and its people and all possible steps were being taken for the purpose.
THREE MOUs SIGNED:
Al Thani arrived in Islamabad on Saturday. He was received by Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Nur Khan Airbase and was driven to Prime Minister’s House.
A formal reception ceremony was held at PM House, where a contingent representing the army, navy and air force presented a guard of honour to the visiting leader.
The Qatari emir also planted a sapling at the PM House. A JF-17 squadron of the Pakistan Air Force presented a fly-past.
Sheikh Al Thani and Prime Minister Imran held a one-on-one meeting before holding the delegation-level talks.
During the meeting, the two sides signed three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on trade and investment and cooperation on financial intelligence and tourism.
The MoUs related to the establishment of the Pakistan and Qatar Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment, cooperation in the field of tourism and business events and cooperation in the exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering — associated offences and terrorism financing. The last MoU was signed between Qatar’s Financial Information Unit and Pakistan’s Financial Monitoring Unit.
Both sides also agreed to take steps to significantly expand collaboration in the agriculture and food sectors; enhance cooperation in the energy sector including the LNG and LPG fields and exploration and production of oil and gas; promote Qatar’s investments in energy, tourism and hospitality industries; expand cooperation in the fields of aviation, maritime affairs, higher education, and defence and defence production.
It was decided that ministers concerned would hold follow-up talks on these areas to give concrete shape to the proposals agreed upon between the two leaders.
Later, the prime minister hosted a banquet dinner in honour of the Qatari emir and his entourage.
In a special gesture, the visiting leader presented the Qatar National football team jersey to the premier and received a cricket bat signed by the former cricketer.