ISLAMABAD, Mar 23 (APP):Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad Saturday said enhanced people-to-people contacts and exchanges by promoting tourism were vital for strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation between Pakistan and Malaysia in diverse areas, including trade, economy and investment.

“Pakistan has a lot of natural resources, so as Malaysia and the countries can complement each other,” he said in a television interview.

The Malaysian Prime Minister, who concluded his three-day state visit to Pakistan on Saturday, said he was happy over the visit, which provided him an opportunity to interact with the Pakistani leadership and identify the areas of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

He mentioned peace and stability coupled with the measures of promoting tourism as prerequisites for any country to achieve economic progress and development.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad mentioned the huge number of tourists attracted every year to Malaysia, which had only 32 million population, and said as he felt comfortable during his stay in Pakistan, which had all the ingredients to promote tourism and tap its potential.
Besides punishments, he said the menace of corruption could also be tackled by promoting ethical and religious values in the society.

He, however, added that leaders must not be corrupt, if they were then it was very difficult to check the menace.
To a question about Islamophobia, the Malaysian Prime Minister said,”Islam being a religion of peace taught us not to fight, kill or indulge in violence. We need to find out what we have done wrong.”

At the same time, he said media should not be allowed to be used by the people, who had no knowledge about Islam.

Dr Mahathir also spoke about how his country, which was an agrarian society, achieved socio-economic progress and development through increased industrialization by attracting local and foreign investors.

He said for industrialization, foreign investors were offered various incentives, which later enabled his country’s people, who acquired technical kills and know-how by working with foreign companies, to establish their own industries.

He said the promotion of technical education, skill enhancement and knowledge- based information and technologies were very important for industrialization of any country, including Pakistan.

Malaysia’s automotive company Proton was establishing a car assembly plant in Karachi in cooperation with Pakistan’s Al-Haj Automotive and the first Proton car would be on the road by June next year.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Malaysian counterpart performed the symbolic ground-breaking of the car assembly plant during the Pak-Malaysia Investment Roundtable in Islamabad on Friday.