ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday asked Qatar for early fulfillment of its promise of hiring 100,000 Pakistani workers.
Mr Khan said this during a meeting with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammad bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani, who called on him to convey the greetings of emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on assumption of the office of prime minister and to express the desire for stronger working relationship with the new government.
“He (Qatari minister) conveyed the keen desire of the emir to work with the new leadership in Pakistan for further strengthening close and cordial relations between Pakistan and Qatar,” the Prime Minister Office said.
Business leaders present Rs92m cheques to Imran for construction of dams
FM Al-Thani had in a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last month offered 100,000 jobs for skilled and semi-skilled workers from Pakistan.
The prime minister recalled the growth in Pakistani exports to Qatar and hoped for further growth in bilateral trade. The trade between the two countries had increased by 104 per cent to about $1.6 billion in 2017 from $782 million in 2016.
Mr Khan invited Qatari investment in all sectors of Pakistan’s economy, especially in agriculture, livestock and energy.
Mr Al-Thani earlier met Foreign Minister Qureshi at the Foreign Office.
Meeting with business leaders
Prime Minister Khan also held a meeting with the office-bearers of different chambers of commerce and industry at the PM Office. He said the previous governments had played havoc with the country by putting it under heavy foreign debts and ruining institutions.
“Previous governments have not only plunged the country into quagmire but also ruined its institutions,” the prime minister said.
On the occasion, the business community presented cheques for Rs92m to the prime minister for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.
Mr Khan said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government had inherited several challenges and problems from the previous regimes that could be overcome only with the support of people and the business community.
He said that because of faulty policies of the previous government, many big institutions like the Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Railways were running in billions of rupees of losses. “Even the enemy does not do so what the previous government had done with the country. Our country does not lack resources, but the previous regimes have committed unprecedented robbery.”
The prime minister said that millions of rupees were found in the bank accounts of poor vendors and even those who died, adding that the nation was suffering from the wrongdoings of the former rulers. He was of the view that no doubt the country was passing through the worst economic crisis, but the nation had the ability to fight back and rid the country of the present situation. “We have many avenues which can generate billions of dollars.”
PM Khan said the government could tackle the problem of money laundering if all overseas Pakistanis sent their remittances through legal banking channels.
Meanwhile, the prime minister was given a detailed briefing on the performance of different ministries and his forthcoming visit to Saudi Arabia.
According to the Foreign Office, Mr Khan will leave for Riyadh next week on the special invitation of King Salman bin Abdel Aziz to participate in the “Future Investment Initiative” conference scheduled for Oct 23-25.
Interestingly, the prime minister is going to Saudi Arabia despite some other countries have refused to attend the event in reaction against alleged involvement of Saudi Arabia in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
It is believed that the conference, titled “Davos in the desert”, will host leading businesspersons, investors, corporate giants, representatives of hi-tech industry and major media outlets at one platform.
Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018