ISLAMABAD, Mar 22 (APP):Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Friday offered Pakistan cooperation in combating corruption to avert losses to national economy and also called for extending its scope to other Muslim countries.
Addressing a joint press stake-out along with Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM House, the Malaysian Prime Minister said Malaysia was much concerned about the negative impact of corruption and believed that it hampered the socio-economic development of masses.
Dr Mahathir said money stolen by public office bearers, must be extracted and diverted towards the development budget with an objective of their uplift.
He seconded the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan that corruption affected a country by making its people poor.
“We can exchange information with each other to combat corruption and share a mechanism with other Muslim states so as to help them ensure development,” Mahathir said, who earlier presented a book to Prime Minister Imran Khan on the subject of fighting corruption.
Imran Khan said Dr Mahathir as a statesman was a role model for the Muslim world who brought about improvement in the living standard of his countrymen, adding that his comeback in politics was a remarkable steps towards ending corruption.
He said Pakistanis admired Dr Mahathir for taking bold stance on issues confronting Muslims across the world and stressed his vibrant role in current scenario particularly addressing the challenges of Islamophobia.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Malaysian counterpart Dr Mahathir, who earlier held a one-on-one meeting at the PM House, expressed the commitment to translate their bilateral relationship to the advantage of their peoples.
Terming the talks “very substantive and useful”, Dr Mahathir said he was glad to renew the friendship between Malaysia and Pakistan and called for identifying the areas where the two could explore opportunities including in trade and power generation.
Dr Mahathir said it was necessary for a country to “retain some wealth of its own to function well as a nation and also to have a sound place at international fora”.
He stressed upon Muslim countries to strive for attaining development, adding that Malaysia had converged its energies to achieve the 2025 goals of development.
About growing trends of Islamophobia, the Malaysian Prime Minister said by winning hearts and minds, Muslims could change negative perception about them and reduce the atmosphere of enmity.
Mahathir said he discussed the issue of terrorism with Imran Khan and emphasized mutual cooperation to counter the negative mindset.
He expressed confidence that his visit would enable the two governments to improve bilateral trade and investment, resulting in stronger economies.
On Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), he stressed for having familiarity with the rules and practices of both countries and where possible, devising common regulations to encourage investment.
On importance of economy-driven politics in 21st century, he said Malaysia achieved a degree of success by looking towards Japan and other developed eastern countries, adding the country was ready to share its expertise with Pakistan in relevant areas.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said taking Malaysia as a model of development, his government soon after assuming power, focused on improving FDI and technological advancement.
On collaboration in tourism, he said Pakistan could learn immensely from Malaysia which generated around $22 billion from this sector.