ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has decided to open another consulate in historic German city Munich which would be formally opened this year, and would serve Pakistani community including students living there, Pakistan Ambassador to Germany Dr Muhammad Faisal said.

"Allama Iqbal and Guethe and culture centre is also being set up in Munich, which would not only create awareness but would also project the poetry and thoughts of both the great scholars", Dr Faisal told The Nation in an exclusive interview from Berlin on phone.

He said Munich is the city from where Pakistani national poet and scholar Allama Muhammad Iqbal not only spent quite some time, but also completed doctoral studies.

He said art and culture is a major segment in foreign policy and public diplomacy, but since long no attention was paid on this aspect. Dr Faisal said world over, major countries used to have their cultural centres in other countries, which used to project the language, culture of the particular country, in the host country. Talking about the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Germany, the ambassador said in 2021 German foreign Minister visited Pakistan twice, which speaks the warmth of the bilateral relations between the two countries.

"Germany is an important country of EU, and it would play its important role in resuming and granting GSP Plus status for Pakistan when it would end next year", he said. He said climate change is another important subject, on which both the countries are cooperating very closely with each other.

On defense and security cooperation between the two countries, Ambassador Faisal said there is strong ongoing cooperation between Pakistan and Germany in the field of defence and security cooperation.

"Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Germany in June 2021 and Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza visited Germany in March this year", Ambassador Faisal said. Talking about trade and economic ties, the Ambassador said trade with Germany is in Pakistan's favour and much more needs to be done by Pakistan to enhance its exports to Germany.

He said soon a high level delegation from the EU air safety association would visit Pakistan to carry out another assessment for resuming PIA flights to Germany and EU. "Resumption of PIA flights to EU countries would not only serve Pakistani community but would also promote Pakistani tourism and business", the Ambassador said. When asked to comment on the recent visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ambassador said every country has the right to maintain and promote its ties with Germany and other EU countries and said Pakistan has also independent and vibrant relations with Germany, which would not be affected in any case.