President Arif Alvi on Sunday conferred Pakistan's highest civil award — Nishan-e-Pakistan — on Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during a ceremony held at the President House in Islamabad.
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, the Emir was given a briefing on JF-17 Thunder aircraft and Mushshak airplane of Pakistan Air Force.
Nishan-e-Pakistan was conferred upon the Emir "in recognition of his efforts for further fostering fraternal ties between the two brotherly countries of Pakistan and Qatar", said Radio Pakistan.
The ceremony was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjarani, members of federal cabinet, parliamentarians, members of Qatari delegation, and civil and military officials.
Earlier, upon arrival to the President House, the Qatari Emir was received by President Alvi. A delegation-level meeting was held between President Alvi and Sheikh Tamim. The president also hosted luncheon in the honour of the Emir and his delegation.
Prime Minister Imran welcomes Emir
Sheikh Al Thani is on his second visit to Pakistan since ascending to power in 2013. Earlier, he visited Pakistan in March 2015.
Prime Minister Imran Khan personally received the Qatari emir at Nur Khan Airbase on Saturday. The Qatari emir is accompanied by a delegation comprising key ministers and senior officials of his country.
A formal reception ceremony was held at Prime Minister 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.
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.
Prime Minister Imran had visited Qatar in January this year.