ISLAMABAD: The government, in its latest diplomatic outreach, sought to fortify strategic partnerships and deepen cooperation in Information and Communications Te­­chnology (ICT) and renewable energy sectors with Persian Gulf countries, Uzbekistan and China, said Deputy Prime Min­ister Ishaq Dar, who also oversees the foreign mi­­nistry, on Tuesday.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, he highlighted the Foreign Offi­ce’s achievements in the first 100 days under the PML-N-led coalition government.

Mr Dar emphasised the government’s strategic shift towards economic diplomacy and geo-economics. He said the current government’s primary objectives include bolstering economic recovery, diplomatic expansion and enhancing trade and investment through international collaboration.

He noted that recent di­­plomatic visits to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, Iran and Uzbekis­tan were part of these efforts.

A significant breakthrough from these outreach efforts, Mr Dar mentioned, is the UAE’s commitment to invest $10 billion in Pakistan, which is in addition to prior pledges. He expressed optimism about Pakis­tan’s economic resurgence and confiden­ce in its proactive approach to attracting foreign direct investment.

Additionally, he updated the committee on diplomatic engagement with Afghanistan, particularly concerning security and health issues, following recent talks in Doha on the sidelines of a UN meeting. He anno­unced plans to visit Afghan­is­tan soon to continue these discussions.

Concerning Pakistani students encountering difficulties in Central Asia, Mr Dar said the government is actively working to support and accommodate them. He noted that, due to government’s intervention, some 4,800 of the 11,000 Pakistani students in Kyrgyzstan have been able to return home.

Azerbaijan president’s visit

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is scheduled to undertake an official visit to Pakistan from July 11-12 at the invitation of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, APP adds.

During the visit, President Aliyev will hold meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, a Foreign Office press release said.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2024

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