Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan holds Qatar in high esteem and wishes to enhance cooperation in all fields, particularly energy, trade, investment, defence and manpower.
He said this while talking to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani at the PM House on Monday. This is the Qatari Emir’s first official visit to Pakistan.
Prime Minister Sharif himself received the Emir and members of his delegation at Islamabad airport where he was accorded a warm welcome including a 21-gun salute and guard of honour.
Talking to the Qatari Emir, Sharif said Pakistan and Qatar enjoy close and brotherly relations.
He lauded the personal contribution of the Emir in transforming Qatar into one of the most attractive destinations of the world. “Qatar’s progress is remarkable, enviable and a matter of pride for us as a brotherly country,” he said.
Sharif said that Pakistan invites Qatari investment in Pakistan in all areas, adding that Pakistan’s bilateral trade of less than $300 million per annum is much below its potential.
The prime minister said that Qatar is home to more than 100,000 Pakistanis whose remittances are making a valuable contribution to the socio-economic development of Pakistan. Pakistan would appreciate if Pakistani manpower in Qatar is substantially enhanced, he said.
The Qatari side expressed interest in enhancing the number of Pakistanis working in Qatar for various development projects they plan to undertake for hosting FIFA 2022 World Cup.
Both sides agreed to take measures to enhance trade and strengthen cooperation in the field of defence and manpower.
The Qatari Emir said Qatar would also positively look into opportunities available in Pakistan for investment, including the energy sector.
Both sides also agreed to enhance exchange of visits at various levels to promote bilateral relations and for following upon the decisions taken by the two leaders.
The Emir was accompanied by a high-level delegation including cabinet ministers, chairman of Qatar Airways and senior government officials.
During the delegation-level talks, both sides discussed ways to further enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields including energy, investment, trade, defence and manpower. Regional and global issues of mutual interest and concern also came under discussion.
The two sides also signed three agreements to further deepen mutually beneficial cooperation existing between the two countries in various fields. These included Agreement of Cooperation in the field of Culture signed by Pervaiz Rashid, Federal Minister for Information, and Dr Khaled bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar), Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Youth and Sports signed by Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination, and Dr Khaled bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar; and First Executive Programme for Cooperation in the Fields of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research for the Cultural, Scientific, Technical, Educational and Media Cooperation Agreement signed by Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination and Dr. Khaled bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, Minister for Qatar.