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Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived in Islamabad

22 March, 2019

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Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived in Islamabad on Thursday evening for a three-day visit to Pakistan. According to Radio Pakistan, the Malaysia premier is visiting on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, and will be the chief guest at the Pakistan Day parade on March 23. Mahathir was accompanied by a high-level delegation, including several leading businessmen.

He was received at Nur Khan airbase by the prime minister, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar and was given a 21-gun salute upon his arrival.

Pakistan is set to sign deals worth $900 million in telecoms, information technology during a three day visit by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a senior official said on Thursday.

The memoranda will cover deals in IT, telecom, power generation, textile, agriculture, and halal food industries, according to Radio Pakistan.

The Malaysian prime minister’s bilateral engagements also include a call on President Arif Alvi, and a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, followed by delegation-level talks, state radio network reported. The two prime ministers are scheduled to speak at the roundtable meeting of the chief executive officers, who desire to invest in Pakistan’s automobile and telecommunication sectors.

Meanwhile, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal, in a statement said the visit of the Malaysian prime minister will further cement the existing brotherly and friendly relations between the two countries.

He said the focus of the visit will be on enhancing economic, trade, investment, and defence ties for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries.

Pakistan, facing an economic crisis due to depleting foreign reserves and a widening current account deficit, has been searching for investment since the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan took office in August.

Razak Dawood, the prime minister’s advisor on commerce, said memoranda of understanding covering $800-$900 million worth of investments with Malaysian investors would be signed on Friday.

“We believe Malaysia will be an opening for us to the ASEAN countries,” he said, referring to the Association of South East Asian Nations.

Pakistan has been seeking financial assistance and calling for investment from friendly countries, while also negotiating a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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