PM Imran meets Qatar Emir in Doha, hopes for 'peace and stability' in Afghanistan

Updated February 27, 2020

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Prime Minister Imran Khan seen alongside Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani in Doha on Thursday.
 — Photo courtesy Sanaullah Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan seen alongside Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani in Doha on Thursday. — Photo courtesy Sanaullah Khan

Prime Minister Imran Khan met the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani in Doha on Thursday, where the two leaders discussed the regional situation as well as the US-Taliban peace deal, scheduled to be signed on February 29.

During the meeting, the two leaders expressed the hope that all Afghan stakeholders would seize the opportunity to reach an inclusive political settlement for the establishment of durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The premier was on a daylong visit to Doha, where he was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar and other senior officials.

According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, "delegation-level talks were followed by tete-a-tete between the two leaders".

“They exchanged views on the existing excellent bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern,” the statement read, adding that the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen the political and economic partnership between the two countries.

They also agreed to further enhance economic cooperation especially in the energy sector. It was also agreed to immediately activate the bilateral Joint Working Group on Commerce and Investment and sign a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of tourism and business events.

The premier “appreciated Qatar’s valuable role leading to the US-Taliban peace agreement due to be signed on February 29,” the statement read, adding that he reiterated Pakistan’s continued support for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.

Prime Minister Imran also briefed the Qatari Emir regarding the grave human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir, while expressing grave concern over the ongoing anti-Muslim riots in India.

Earlier, on his arrival at the airport, the prime minister was received by Qatar's Energy Minister Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi.

Pakistan and Qatar enjoy close, cordial relations based on mutual trust and understanding. The bilateral relationship is broad-based and multifaceted, covering diverse fields, including political, trade, commercial, defence, people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges.

This will be the second visit of the prime minister to Qatar after taking office.

The Emir of Qatar visited Pakistan in June last year. The visit resulted in strengthening of bilateral economic collaboration in diverse areas. The prime minister’s visit will further reinforce this process.

During his last visit to Qatar, the prime minister discussed the matter of exporting workers to Qatar with the Doha leadership.

In December last year, Qatar opened a visa facilitation centre in Islamabad for swift processing of visas of members of the Pakistan workforce wishing to work in Qatar.

Qatar also promised 100,000 jobs for Pakistani workers, and the government held talks with the Qatari government to accommodate skilled Pakistani labour force returning to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia.