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Pakistan-Kuwait agree to bolster ties in multifaceted areas

21 June, 2006

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, right, gestures as he talks to Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, left, during a meeting at Prime
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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jabar Al-Sabah in their meeting held Tuesday at the Prime Minister House agreed to further consolidate the bilateral relations between the two countries in a broad spectrum of areas especially trade, investment and manpower export.

They also expressed their resolve to work jointly to face the challenges facing Muslim Ummah and the region.

The prime minister said Pakistan and Kuwait are bound in ties common faith, religion and culture and have shared perception and vision. The visit of Amir of Kuwait will be a turning point in our multifaceted relationship and the Memorandums of Understandings signed between the two countries under which Kuwait companies plan to invest $ 1.2 billion will take the economic cooperation between the two countries to new heights.

The prime minister welcomed Kuwaitís participation in energy and infrastructure projects which, he said would serve as a trade and energy corridor between three vital regions of the world: South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia. Pakistan is fast emerging as the junction for multiple corridors of cooperation between the three regions involving energy, trade, transportation and tourism, the prime minister said.

The Amir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jabber Al-Sabah reciprocated Prime Minister Shaukat Azizís desire for further expanding bilateral ties and regional cooperation. He said the common bond existing between Pakistan and Kuwait provides a solid ground for further bolstering the economic relations between our two countries and the private sectors can help achieve our vision of building a better future for our people.

He said Pakistanís economic recovery is indeed impressive and a number of Kuwaitis entrepreneurs are now interested in building investment partnerships with the Pakistani companies and are negotiating with their Pakistani counterparts.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jabber Al-Sabah appreciated the role and contribution being made by Pakistanis living in Kuwait in the development of Kuwait and said his country would welcome more Pakistani workers to benefit from their skills and expertise.

While identifying the investment and joint venture opportunities available in various areas in Pakistan, the prime minister said the wide-ranging structural reform introduced during the last seven years coupled with macroeconomic stability, rapid, strong and sustained economic recovery, reduced cost of doing business and transparency in policies and procedures has transformed Pakistan into one of the ideal locations for foreign investment. He said by the end of the current fiscal year, foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is expected to reach $ 3.5 billion.

The prime minister invited Kuwaiti businessmen to take advantage of the investment friendly policies of Pakistan.

Talking of the defense and security measures, the prime minister said Pakistan is a peace loving country. It does not have aggressive designs against any country and our defense policy is designed to have minimum credible deterrence to ensure peace in the region. "Peace is achieved through a position of strength and our defence policy aims at safeguarding our sovereignty and integrity, added the prime minister.

Talking of the challenges facing the Muslim Ummah, the prime minister emphasized the need to promote interfaith, inter civilization, inter cultural dialogue to ensure a better understanding between the Islamic World and the West. Observing that Islam, which is a religion of peace, brotherhood and compassion and teaches moderation and tolerance is misunderstood in many parts of the world, the prime minister said that Muslim need to work harder to present Islam in its true perspective.

"the need of the hour is to bridge the growing divide between Islam and the West to ensure peace and prosperity for the future generations, the prime minister said.

He said Muslims need to forge more unity in their ranks and the OIC needs to be restructured and transformed into a vibrant organization to deal with the issues facing Muslim Ummah.

Talking of the regional situation, the prime minister said Pakistan remains committed to the composite dialogue process with India. A durable peace in the region requires a just settlement of the Kashmir dispute-which lies at the heart of Pakistan-India relations. He said President Musharraf has proposed many bold initiatives which can form a basis of meaningful negotiations. We hope India will respond positively to Pakistanís proposals of demilitarization and self governance in Kashmir, the prime minister said.

He said on our Western borders, a strong and stable and vibrant Afghanistan is of strategic importance to Pakistan. Pakistan has extended full political, diplomatic and financial cooperation to President Karzai and remains committed to supporting our Afghan brothers.

With China, the prime minister said Pakistan has a strategic partnership and the two countries are cooperating in a broad spectrum of areas. Pakistan is currently pursuing with China the plans to build energy and trade corridors, the prime minister added.

Talking of the situation in Middle East, the prime minister said Pakistan attaches great importance to secure and stable Middle East, which cannot be achieved without a just solution of the Palestine issue. He said international community needs to do more to facilitate an early resolution of this festering conflict

The prime minister said Pakistan has been consistently providing diplomatic, political and moral support to the Palestinians cause and will continue to do so till its resolution.

The meeting was attended among others by Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister/ Minister for foreign Affairs Kuwait, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al Sabah, Advisor at Al-Diwan, Al Amiri, Kuwait, Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Minister of Energy, Mr Bader Mishari Al-Humaidi, Minister of Finance Mr Faisal Abdul Aziz A-Mulaifee, Ambassador of Kuwait in Islamabad.

From Pakistan side the meeting was attended among others by Minister for interior Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Minister for Petroleum and NATURAL Resources Amanullah Khan Jadoon, Minister for Privatization and Investment Mr Zahid Hamid, Advisor to prime minister on Finance Dr Salman Shah, Minister of State and Chairman Board of Investment Umar Ahmad Ghuman, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and senior officials.

End.

Reader Comments:

Make full use of Kiwaiti assistance

Kuwait is a sharp investor. Its investment range from four to five hundred billion dollars. But the Prime minister's top priority rests with putting in place a functioning democracy in thecountry. Without this, there is a strong possibility of a "dama dum must qalander" in the country.

Sher Mohammad.

Sher Mohammad, Pakistan - 21 June, 2006

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