Friday, September 24

Pakistan-Malaysia ties to achieve new heights under current leadership — Envoy

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KUALA LUMPUR: A revitalisation of ties between Malaysia and Pakistan under the current leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Imran Khan will push forward new areas of multifaceted cooperation.

Pakistan High Commissioner to Malaysia Amna Baloch, who started her term here a month ago, said as the two leaders exchanged bilateral visits, Pakistan and Malaysia have agreed to take cooperation in political, trade, and investment, as well as defence, to new heights.

“I hope we will be able to establish Pakistan and Malaysia as strategic partners in days to come,” she told Bernama International News Service in an interview at the High Commission recently.

Imran Khan’s maiden official visit to Malaysia came last November, and Dr Mahathir returned the gesture with a three-day official visit to Islamabad in March where he also received the country’s highest civilian award, the Nishan-e-Pakistan or Order of Pakistan.

The two leaders have agreed to elevate existing relations between the two countries to that of a Strategic Partnership during Dr Mahathir’s visit in March.

The High Commissioner said the two leaders played important roles in the strengthening of Pakistan-Malaysia ties as both shared similar views on many issues at the international level such as on the Ummah (Muslim community) as well as multilateralism.

“PM Imran Khan, even before he became the Prime Minister, has held Dr Mahathir in great regards. I think the leadership of the two countries is at the same wavelength. From this vantage point, I can see that this relationship (between Malaysia and Pakistan) has great potential,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Malaysia-Pakistan joint committee on trade and investment opportunities, which was announced last week, was a follow-up to meetings between the leaders and officials of the two countries to identify ways that can be utilised to enhance trade and commercial activities as well as investments, Baloch said.

She said Pakistan is keen to work with Malaysia and has invited Malaysian businesses to take advantage of the special economic zones (SEZs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

“We will be very happy to see more Malaysian companies in Pakistan. These special economic zones will provide a launching pad to promote their exports to the Middle East and Africa,” she said.

Total trade between Malaysia and Pakistan stood at RM5.91 billion last year, an increase of 2.5 per cent compared to RM5.76 billion in 2017.

Diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Pakistan were established in 1957. – Bernama