MABAD (APP) - Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has called for enhanced recruitment of Pakistan's manpower by the Canadian entrepreneurs involved in development of the new agricultural lands in Canada's labour scarce provinces.
Talking to the Canadian Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, the Prime Minister also took up the issue of inordinate delay in the processing of immigration cases of Pakistani nationals by the Canadian authorities.
He urged that Pakistanis should be treated at par with immigrants from other countries.
The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the Canadian Government for doubling its economic assistance to Pakistan from $30 million to $60 million.
He hoped that Canada would also provide Pakistan with technical and financial assistance for upgrading the universities and vocational training institutions to train Pakistani manpower. This, he added, will bring their capabilities up to the required standard of Canadian employers.
The Prime Minister underlined the need for Canada's continued engagement with NATO/ISAF forces in Afghanistan. He also expressed condolences for more than 100 casualties of Canadian Armed Forces deployed in Kandahar, in the past five years.
He pointed out that Pakistan is still hosting millions of Afghan refugees while the international community seems to have forgotten them. He said that restoration of peace in Afghanistan will enable the refugees to return to their homeland.
Gilani said their return will also open new vistas of bilateral and multi-lateral trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as between Central Asian states and South Asian countries. The Canadian Minister termed Pakistan as a significant source of immigrant workers for Canada. He agreed that there had been prolonged delays in processing the immigration cases of Pakistanis in the past.
He, however, promised that the Canadian government henceforth will try to reduce the processing period of these cases. Terming Pakistan's diaspora in Canada as a natural bridge between the two countries, he undertook to consider increasing the number of recruitment of Pakistan's manpower for Canada. He commended Prime Minister's decision to appoint, for the first time in Pakistan's history, a representative of minorities as the Federal Minister of Minorities. The Canadian minister requested assistance of the government of Pakistan in grant of regulatory provision to a Canadian company's bidding to explore copper and gold in Balochistan. The step would encourage the Canadian corporate sector to consider Pakistan's market for joint ventures and investments, he added.
The Canadian minister noted that Pakistan was amongst the first few countries visited by his Prime Minister Harper after assuming his office in 2006. He agreed with the Prime Minister on the need for increased exchanges at government and peoples to people level to further strengthen the existing ties.
He informed the Prime Minister that a Parliamentary Forum in Canada would be established in February to promote interactions amongst the elected representatives between the Canada and Pakistan. He lauded Pakistan's pivotal role in the counter terrorism campaign.
He assured the Prime Minister that Canada would lend its complete support to the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Forum for assisting Pakistan at this difficult juncture of its history.