Promoting ties with Qatar

Pakistan enjoys very brotherly, warm, and friendly relations with all members of the Islamic Ummah since its establishment in 1947, particularly with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar. Since assuming power in April 2022 until March 2023, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has undertaken 19 foreign trips to 11 countries, all official except two private visits. He has been to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Egypt to promote fraternal brotherly ties with the Islamic countries.
Pakistan has deep-rooted and multifaceted cooperation spanning over decades with Qatar. Both brotherly countries have always supported each other at regional and international forums concerning all issues, problems, and challenges. PM Shehbaz Shebaz Sharif has paid two visits to Qatar among other countries. He paid his first visit to Qatar in August 2022 when the Gulf state was making hectic preparations for hosting the historical FIFA World Cup 2022. Pakistan Army troops provided security and usage of Pakistani manufactured footballs, which was an honor for Pakistan in general and sports goods manufacturers of Sialkot, in particular.
He paid a second visit to Qatar in the first week of March 2023 to attend the 5th UN Conference on Least Developed Countries in Doha, hosted by Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The Prime Minister assured the Conference participants that Pakistan is committed to implementing the Doha Programme of Action, considering it an opportunity to accelerate sustainable prosperity in the Least Developed Countries. He emphasized the partnership of LDCs with the developed nations as well as the private sector and civil society, exploring the opportunity to ensure sustainable development in the places where international assistance was needed the most. He also called upon the international community to join hands in tapping the full potential of the LDCs and helping in making progress on the road to prosperity. He concluded by pointing out that the LDCs needed major investments in health, education, and social protection systems, and as such, vast resources were needed to fully implement Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The visit also afforded an opportunity to the PM to have a productive and useful meeting with the Emir of Qatar at the Emiri Diwan. The two leaders held talks on a wide range of issues of mutual interest and discussed ways to further enhance excellent cooperation in economic and investment areas between Pakistan and Qatar. On his part, the host Emir of Qatar welcomed PM Shehbaz Sharif to Qatar and expressed his keen interest in enhancing economic ties between Pakistan and Qatar, reaffirming his country’s commitment and continued support for Pakistan’s development agenda. The PM extended an invitation to the Emir of Qatar to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience, which was promptly accepted with great pleasure. This indicates the very close, brotherly relations that exist between the two countries, which are being promoted through high-level visits such as that of the Prime Minister.
During his visit, the Pakistani Prime Minister also had a fruitful meeting with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Qatar Investment Authority, Mansoor Ebrahim Al Mahmood. Various proposals were discussed relating to possible Qatari investment in different sectors of Pakistan’s economy. The Qatar Investment Authority Chief expressed his keen interest in investing in liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants, airports, and solar power parks in Pakistan. It is worth mentioning here that Qatar is the largest LNG producer. The LNG being provided to Pakistan by Qatar at affordable rates is playing a crucial and appreciable role in promoting economic activities and mitigating the woes of different categories of consumers.
Like many other countries across the globe, Qatar is also host to more than 150,000 Pakistani workers who are making positive contributions to the host country’s development in different sectors and sending substantial amounts of remittances to their families back home every year. Qatar has also responded favorably to the request from the Pakistani side to increase the export of skilled workers when PM Shehbaz Sharif raised this matter during his meeting with the Emir of Qatar. This was indeed very encouraging, as Pakistan has a large force of both skilled and unskilled workers who are ready to make their contributions to Qatar’s economic progress and development in the coming years. Such frequent exchanges at the highest level between the brotherly countries of Pakistan and Qatar will certainly go a long way in further promoting the relations between them, in the mutual interest and benefit of their peoples.

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