Pakistan, Qatar vow to enhance bilateral cooperation

Published March 23, 2015
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. — Photo courtesy: Radio Pakistan
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. — Photo courtesy: Radio Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday invited Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, to look into investment opportunities available in Pakistan as both countries vowed to enhance cooperation on all fronts.

Speaking to Al-Thani at the PM House in Islamabad, Sharif said bilateral trade of less than US$ 300 million per annum between Pakistan and Qatar was much below its potential.

Al-Thani, resonating the premier's stance, said Qatar would positively look into investment opportunities in Pakistan, including the energy sector.

He also expressed interest in enhancing the number of Pakistanis working in Qatar for various development projects that will be undertaken specifically for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Both sides also signed three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) aimed to increase cooperation in education and culture.

Earlier, Nawaz Sharif had received the Emir of Qatar Sheikh at the Nur Khan Airbase .

According to the Prime Minister's House, Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir and Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi — were also present to welcome the Emir of Qatar.

All Service Chiefs and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee were also present along with Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Ambassador of Qatar to Pakistan.

A 21-gun salute and guard of honour was presented to the Qatari prince.

According to Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam, the Emir of Qatar, who is visiting Pakistan from March 23 to 24 on the invitation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is accompanied by a high-level delegation including cabinet ministers, Chairman of Qatar Airways and senior government officials.

The spokesperson said that the official visit of the Emir of Qatar will provide a fresh impetus to bilateral relations.

During the visit, the Emir will meet with President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss regional and global issues of mutual interest and both sides are expected to discuss ways to further enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields including energy, investment, trade, defence and manpower.

Pakistan and Qatar enjoy close and brotherly relations. Qatar is home to more than 100,000 Pakistanis and their remittances are making a valuable contribution to Pakistan's socio-economic development.

It will be Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani first official visit to Pakistan as the Emir of Qatar. Earlier in 2010, he had visited Pakistan in his capacity as the then Crown Prince of Qatar to offer financial assistance of Rs400 million to people affected by flash floods.

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