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Malaysia and Pakistan reaffirm strong bilateral ties, pledge greater coop

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PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan pledged to deepen bilateral cooperation on a range of issues on Tuesday, as part of the latter’s working visit to Malaysia.
Mahathir, who hosted Khan at his Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya here, said the two countries would engage in more frequent exchanges at the ministerial and agency level on a range of issues including economic and security cooperation.
“We also welcome the successful convening of the first bilateral consultation between senior officials of both ministries of foreign affairs as the key forum to intensify engagements at the working level,” Mahathir told a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart after their meeting.
“On bilateral economic cooperation, we acknowledge the need for both sides to further explore the huge potential available in both countries and to develop further in economic partnership particularly in trade and investment, to establish networks between various economic entities and linkages among the private sector,” he said.
Khan, for his part said both countries shared similar views on a range of issues.
“Traditionally we have been very close but the object of the visit is to even get closer. We feel that the future of trading ties, of investment, of cooperation between Malaysia and Pakistan is tremendous. It’s because people in both countries, it’s not just the government, the people of Malaysia and Pakistan, there is a very close affinity between them,” he said.
Beside the face-to-face meeting, the two leaders also witnessed the signing of an extradition treaty.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said he would attend the next Kuala Lumpur Summit as the outcome of previous meet, cleared misconception about it of dividing the Muslim Ummah.
“Now it is evident that the KL summit was not to divide, but unite the Ummah. So, of course I would come,” the prime minister said at a joint press stakeout with his Malaysia counterpart Dr Mahathir Mohammed, at Putrajaya.
The prime minister was responding to a question by a Malaysian journalist in reference to cancellation of his participation at the KL Summit in December 2019, citing reason to avoid rift in Muslim world.
Kuala Lumpur Summit is the initiative of Dr Mahathir Mohammed with an objective to address the challenges, confronting the Muslim countries.
Imran Khan said he was “sad for not attending the summit” which he earlier looked forward to. “Unfortunately, our friends who are very close to Pakistan, felt that somehow the conference was going to divide the Ummah and it was clearly a misconception,” he added.
Asked if skipping the KL Summit had an impact on ties with other Muslim states, “No, it did not affect relations with other Muslim countries.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he felt that it was very important for the Muslim countries to educate the western and other non-Muslim countries on misunderstandings about Islam and spread the real message of Islam.
He said setting up a joint media among Muslim countries, on which the work was underway, would not only project the positive image of Islam, but would also develop content for the young generation about a great religion.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir said he was committed to collaborate more closely on issues affecting the Muslim Ummah.
He said he also shared with Imran Khan the outcome of Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019.
Meanwhile, addressing scholars at the Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS)
in Kuala Lumpur, PM Imran Khan reaffirmed his government’s resolve to develop Pakistan as a true Islamic welfare state, saying that the state of Madina was role model for World.
He said his vision for Pakistan is the same as the vision of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal.
“Quaid-i-Azam was the great leader of the subcontinent, I am following the vision of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal in making Pakistan a great country,” said PM Khan.
PM Imran said that he laid the foundation of Islamic welfare state despite knowing the fact that the country was going through the worst economic situation. He said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government introduced Sehat scheme and distributed Sehat Insaf Cards among 6 million families.
“PTI government made 200 shelter homes for people and provided food to poor people under Ehsaas Langar Scheme and awarded scholarships to students under Kamyab Jawan Program,” added PM Imran Khan.
Meanwhile, speaking at International Affairs Forum on ‘Vision for Regional Peace
and Security’ at Malaysia’s Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies, the
Prime Minister said his vision for Pakistan was to bring people out of poverty and fight the
mafia, involved in corruption.
He said his government was making every effort to transform the country into a welfare state, based on principles of compassion and rule of law.
Imran Khan, who visited Malaysia on the invitation of prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed, said numerous mafias in Pakistan, may it be political or those involved in price hike, did not want the country to make progress by exerting their undue use of power.
He said the reason why Pakistan could not achieve progress, despite its great God-given potential, was its journey without a proper vision. The nations without a vision, die as it is the key to keep them flourish and develop, he added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday completed official Malaysia visit and left for Pakistan.
On Monday, PM Imran Khan had arrived in Malaysia on a two-day visit to the South East Asian country. He was visiting on the invitation of his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad. The prime minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation including cabinet members and senior officials. – NNI