Modi can virtually join Saarc conference, says Qureshi


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Monday that Pakistan had taken historic milestones on diplomatic fronts thanks to strong economic, public and scientific diplomacy.

Speaking to a press to highlight last year’s achievements, the Foreign Minister called the previous year significant, as Pakistan proactively and consistently advanced its diplomatic goals on a range of fronts diplomatic, both bilateral and multilateral.

He said that in addition to consolidating friendships, Pakistan has strengthened bilateral relations with major powers and key partners across the world. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan continues to be a leading voice in global forums, with strong advocacy on issues of sustainable and equitable development, climate change, debt relief for developing countries, corruption, illicit financial flows and Islamophobia, “he added. The Foreign Minister said that a major change in foreign policy had been achieved through an increased focus on geoeconomics taking advantage of its geopolitical importance.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi can participate virtually in the Saarc Conference if he cannot come to Pakistan, he said, adding: “We will settle the issue of closing the borders with Afghanistan by the diplomatic channel “.

Qureshi further pointed out that in 2021, around 85 bilateral exchanges with more than 50 countries and 35 visits by senior leaders to Pakistan had taken place. In addition to more than 50 high-level multilateral engagements, attendance at 35 international forums and 32 visits by senior Pakistani leaders have been recorded in previous years, he added.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs further stated that five resolutions sponsored / co-sponsored by Pakistan have been adopted by the United Nations. A total of 114 Pakistani missions were carried out to operate online through three popular social media platforms, he added.

Qureshi also mentioned the success of the geo-economic policy focused on promoting exports and investments, increasing investor confidence, improving remittances, promoting tourism and expanding trade ties. with host countries.

This led to a 39 point improvement in Pakistan’s ranking for ease of doing business, a 7% increase in trade with Africa, a 59 point improvement in Pakistan’s business confidence ranking, 2 , $ 9 billion deposited to 299,000 accounts in 175 countries in Roshan digital accounts, $ 2 billion invested in certificates Naya Pakistan, 24.1% increase in home remittances to a record high of $ 18.7 billion (in the eight months of fiscal year 2020-21), and an increase of over $ 2 billion in the export of information technology and information technology-enabled sectors.

The foreign minister said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have signed seven memoranda of understanding / agreements, including the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to operationalize the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordinating Council (SPSCC).

Pakistan’s exports and remittances to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates increased and a record number of labor was exported to Qatar in 2021. Kuwait, he added, eased visa restrictions for Pakistani nationals and as part of the bilateral agreement on the recruitment of health professionals. , around 1,800 Pakistani soldiers had already reached Kuwait.

Regarding relations with China, he said, 2021 marks an important milestone in the Pakistan-China friendship, as the two countries celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in a dignified manner with more of 140 events and activities organized across Pakistan and China.

“These events rekindled the sentiments of bilateral relations, reaffirmed our determination to strengthen the all-weather strategic cooperation partnership, continue our joint efforts for the high-quality development of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) and further elevate friendship. Pakistani-Chinese to a new pedestal of bilateral cooperation, as envisioned by the leaders and peoples of the two countries, “he added.

The Foreign Minister further clarified that Pakistan’s exports to China in the first 10 months of 2021 were recorded at $ 2.85 billion (77% year-on-year growth). China remained the largest source of net FDI (foreign direct investment) to Pakistan, he added.

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