APP90-22 ISLAMABAD: March 22 - President Dr Arif Alvi addressing the banquet in honor of Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad at Aiwan-e-Sadr. APP

ISLAMABAD, Mar 22 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi Friday urged the leadership of Pakistan and Malaysia to take lead for holding a dialogue to address the rising challenges of Islamophobia and xenophobia across the world.

Addressing a dinner reception he hosted in honour of the visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his delegation here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the president said that the Muslim world was eyeing Pakistan and Malaysia for their role against Islamophobia.

The reception was attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, federal ministers, parliamentarians, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, diplomats and members of the delegation accompanying the Malaysian prime minister who arrived here Thursday on a three-day visit.
The president said Pakistan had learnt a lot while fighting against terrorism and securing its borders.
He said extremism had devastated the societies and such ideas took around 20 to 30 years to die down. The world was learning now what Pakistan had already learnt while coping with the challenges it had been facing, he added.
The president said consequent to the sacrifices by its people, Pakistan succeeded to get rid of terrorism.
He said Pakistan had wholeheartedly hosted 3.5 million Afghan refugees contrary to the European countries that had been reluctant to host even a thousand refugees.
He said after assuming the office, Prime Minister Imran Khan had given a message of peace to other countries including India as it was inevitable for economic development.
President Alvi said in the recent conflict with India, Pakistan had exercised restraint and told India not to attack it, else the country would be compelled to retaliate.
Referring to the human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir, the president said everything could not be scrapped under the carpet of terrorism.
He said the will of the people could not be suppressed in Indian Occupied Kashmir as the people there were fighting for their right to self-determination.
In his remarks, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad thanked the prime minister and the president for inviting him to attend the Pakistan Day event.
He said Pakistan and Malaysia had been enjoying diplomatic ties since independence.
He said there was a need to understand new technologies and both the countries should benefit from each other’s experiences.
He said Malaysia was ready to work with Pakistan in all spheres and that the businessmen accompanying him would help establish links with Pakistani business community.
Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysians were already familiar with Pakistan that would also help strengthen the bilateral ties.
He also thanked Pakistan’s leadership for honoring him with the highest civil award saying that he felt strengthened after this gesture.
He said it was good to have closer bilateral ties as the countries could not progress in strangeness.
He said the industrial revolution helped change the lives of the people. Pakistan was a nation of 200 million people and manpower played a key role in national development.
The Malaysian prime minister also expressed his willingness to cooperate with Pakistan to strengthen Pakistan’s tourism sector believing that it would accelerate country’s economic development.