Mahathir’s visit to reinvigorate bilateral ties as Pakistan, Malaysia set to ink 3 MoUs: FM

ISLAMABAD, Mar 21 (APP):Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said the visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad to Pakistan would reinvigorate bilateral relations as the two countries were all set to ink three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in electric automobiles, telecommunication and Halal food processing.
Addressing at a joint press conference along with Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and Chairman Board of Investment Haroon Sharif at the Foreign Office, he expressed
the confidence that Dr Mahathir’s visit would be an opportunity for the two countries
to fortify their relations.
It was announced that Malaysia’s national automaker company Proton would
sign an MoU with Pakistan’s Alhaj Automotives to set up an assembly plant of
electric cars in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Jazz and Telenor companies will ink MoU with Malaysia’s eDotCo
Group for enhanced collaboration in telecommunication sector.
Pakistan’s Fauji Farms will sign MoU with Malaysian companies for cooperation
in food sector, particularly Halal meat processing.
PM’s Adviser on Commerce Razak Dawood said business cooperation with Malaysia would open a window of opportunity for Pakistan’s economy following
the recent investment by China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
He mentioned that Pakistan’s trade relations with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and
UAE were more of a government-to-government level cooperation as compared
to Malaysia and Turkey, where the arrangement existed at businessmen-to-businessmen level.
He said top 35 Malaysian businessmen, accompanying Prime Minister Mahathir, would explore opportunities in Pakistan’s diverse sectors including telecom, power generation, agriculture, textiles and Halal meat products.
Chairman BOI Sharif said the government would provide an enabling environment to Pakistani businessmen to initiate joint ventures with their Malaysian counterparts.

Foreign Minister Qureshi, who returned this morning after concluding an official
visit to China, said the two sides for the first time held foreign minister-level
strategic dialogue to upgrade their political consultations.
He mentioned that the talks covered bilateral relations, Pulwama incident, Afghanistan’s peace process and progress on China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC).
He acknowledged China’s role of post-Pulwama incident, saying “China once
again proved of being a steadfast friend of Pakistan and for standing by it rock
solid during all odds”.
When asked if the matter of Masood Azhar was taken up during the discussion,
the Foreign Minister said, “Definitely yes, it was discussed because China is a
trust-worthy country for Pakistan and the two exchange views on all important issues.”
The Foreign Minister announced that he would represent Pakistan at the extraordinary meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which
had been convened in Istanbul on March 22 in the wake of recent incidents
of Islamophobia in major capitals of the world.
He lauded the address of New Zealand’s prime minister to parliament,
terming it “balanced, impartial and without a hint of racism”.
He, however, regretted the “double standards” of India which abstained
to give reference of the martyred Muslims at mosque, in its condemnation
statement on the New Zealand incident.
“It is regrettable that India wants representation at OIC for having a big
Muslim population, but underplays the incident which targets Muslims,”
he said.
He condemned the verdict of India’s Investigation Court that acquitted
four principal accused of Samjhauta Express incident where 44 Pakistanis
were burnt alive back in 2007, saying that Pakistan continuously protested
for a just investigation process.
“I don’t want to compare the Samjhauta and Pulwama incidents where
almost same number of people died on both sides. However, India should
not always point fingers on Pakistan as it did after Pulwama incident,” he
Qureshi said Pakistan was still ready to investigate the Pulwama incident
and was analyzing the dossier received from India.
To a question on status of Pak-U.S relations, he said there was improvement
in last seven months with “initiation of corrective mechanism”, however “still
more needed to be done”.
When sought comments on a statement of Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on banned outfits present in the country, he said it was quite “immature” on his behalf during a situation when Pakistan Air Force was still
at high alert after the country faced an act of aggression by India on
February 26.
He said the 20-point National Action Plan on eradication of terrorism in
the country was also backed by leaders of main political parties including
Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Mehmood Achakzai
and also Imran Khan.
Responding to the same statement of PPP leader, Information Minister
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said it apparently supported the cause of India
and made headlines in their newspapers.
He said in an effort to cover financial corruption of his father, Bilawal
Bhutto was issuing statements ignoring the national interests, which
was regrettable.