LAHORE     -    Newly-appointed Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Neil Hawkins on Tuesday called on Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman and discussed coop­eration in education, trade and environment besides matters of mutual interest.

Speaking on the occasion, Pun­jab Governor Balighur Rehman said that Pakistan values its rela­tions with Australia, adding that Australia had always stood by Pakistan in the hour of need. He said the Pakistani diaspora living in Australia was playing a role in its development, adding that many Pakistani students were studying in Australian univer­sities. He hailed the Australian government for granting schol­arships to Pakistani students in the field of education.

Baligh further said that trade between the two countries was increasing and Pakistan wanted to further expand trade rela­tions with Australia. He said that the government had taken mea­sures to empower women and to achieve this goal, women uni­versities were established which had yielded encouraging results.

He told the Australian High Commissioner that as chancel­lor he was working on forming a consortium on environment to benefit from the research on environment by the universities. They also talked about expediting the visa process for Pakistanis. Australian High Commissioner Neil Hawkins said climate change was a big challenge for the entire world which required concerted efforts to deal with it. The diplo­mat also assured of his coopera­tion on environmental challenges