Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived on a day-long visit to Qatar on Thursday as part of regular exchange of high-level visits between the two countries. The prime minister visit came just two days before the US and Taliban were scheduled to sign a peace deal in Doha.
Pakistani PM Imran Khan to depart for Qatar before US-Taliban peace deal pic.twitter.com/x6hbonDMWh
— Khaleej Mag (@KhaleejMag) February 26, 2020
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfikar Bukhari and Special Assistant to PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar will be accompanying the prime minister.
The prime minister met His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar during his visit. PM Imran also held a meeting with Emir of Qatar and his Qatari counterpart to discuss issues of mutual interest. The premier held a meeting with Qatari investors and the business community.
The focus of the prime minister’s visit was on strengthening bilateral cooperation and exchanging views on regional developments.
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) February 27, 2020
This was the second visit by PM Imran to Qatar since taking office in 2018. His Highness the Amir of Qatar visited Pakistan in June 2019.
Pak-Qatar Relations under Premier Imran’s Leadership
Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, was in Pakistan for a brief one-day visit in the third week of June 2019. Emir, and his delegation, arrived in the evening of Friday 22, he was personally received, at Noor Khan airbase, (known to residents of Islamabad as the old airport) by Imran Khan, Pakistan’s premier, who personally drove him to Prime Minister’s house in Islamabad where a one on one meeting took place between the Emir and the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
During the visit, Qatar announced keeping $3 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan to support the country’s balance of payments. Three memoranda of understanding (MoU) were signed on Saturday, between Qatar and Pakistan, in trade and investment, tourism and business events, and exchange of financial intelligence and then Emir left in the early afternoon of June 23.
In January, Imran Khan, Pakistan’s Prime Minister was in Qatar on a two-day visit at the invitation of the country’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Adviser to PM Abdul Razak Dawood, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, and Board of Investment Chairman Haroon Sharif and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua accompanied him.
Doha has also promised 100,000 jobs for Pakistani workers, and the government is in talks with the Qatari government to adjust skilled members of the labor force returning from Saudi Arabia
Upon their arrival, the delegation was received by Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad al-Muraikhi at the airport. Khan met the Qatari Prime Minister but he also met Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad and amongst other issues export of skilled labor to Qatar was discussed which shows the priority Islamabad attached to the issue – and which makes it so important to understand the economic impact of FIFA World Cup 2022 on the region.
In December 2018, Qatar had already opened a visa facilitation center in Islamabad for swift processing of visas of members of the Pakistan workforce wishing to work in Qatar.
Doha has also promised 100,000 jobs for Pakistani workers, and the government is in talks with the Qatari government to adjust skilled members of the labor force returning from Saudi Arabia. Observers and policy experts on Gulf economies (like Author, Mehran Kamrava, ‘Qatar: Small State, Big Politics’) believe that workers from India and Pakistan suit employers and contractors because they are not part of the political currents of the region – unlike the workers from Egypt, Yemen or Morocco.