ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi will leave for a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday (today).

During his meetings with the UAE leadership, he would raise the issue of Pakistani workers who lost their jobs in the Gulf state because of Covid-related restrictions.

The president will also formally inaugurate the Pakistan Pavilion established at Dubai Expo 2020. Themed as ‘Hidden Treasure’, the Pakistan Pavilion showcases the unexplored and undiscovered riches of the country. The pavilion has become one of the top destinations among visitors, having welcomed a large number of people since the expo began on October 1.

“Two meetings of the president with UAE rulers are expected in which the president will raise the issue of Pakistani diaspora, especially those Pakistani workers who have returned to the country during Covid-19 restrictions,” a senior official of the president’s team told Dawn on Friday.

Will formally inaugurate Pakistan Pavilion at Dubai Expo

“The issue of those Pakistanis who returned from the UAE and could not go again there was in the mind of the president and he will definitely take up this matter with the UAE rulers,” he said.

It has been observed that a large number of Pakistanis, who returned to the country during the Covid-19 outbreak, have lost their jobs as they could not go back to the UAE due to the pandemic restrictions.

The pandemic restrictions have now been lifted in the Gulf states, and the Pakistanis, who have been deprived of their jobs and livelihood, wanted to go back and resume their jobs there.

According to the Presidency, Mr Alvi would visit different sections of the Pakistan Pavilion.

“During the visit, the president will meet the UAE dignitaries and formally inaugurate the Pakistan Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020,” the Foreign Office said on Friday.

During his stay, the FO said, the president would also meet businessmen, investors, entrepreneurs and senior representatives of information technology companies and media.

The president will be the chief guest at an event on Roshan Digital Account and Roshan Apna Ghar, the initiatives launched by the government to facilitate expatriates.

He is also scheduled to interact with members of the Pakistani community in the UAE.

Dubai Expo 2020 is the largest and most diverse exhibition in the region with participation from 192 countries, multilateral organisations and businesses.

The Pakistan Pavilion is not only bringing the country’s colours and culture to Dubai Expo, but is also inspiring the world on topics of climate sustainability, tree plantation and renewable and clean energy solutions. The pavilion offers an insight into the investment opportunities in Pakistan with immense potential for growth.

The UAE is Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and a major source of investments. The UAE is also among Pakistan’s prime development partners in education, health and energy sectors.

Around 1.6 million Pakistani expatriates in the UAE sent remittances of more than $6 billion last year to the country.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2021

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