News Desk |
Qatari Ambassador to Pakistan, Saqar bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri has announced 100,000 jobs for Pakistani citizens on Thursday in a meeting at the Parliament House in Islamabad.
The meeting took place between the Qatari Ambassador and the National Assembly Speaker, Asad Qaisar to discuss various areas of cooperation between the two countries.
Talking to the NA Speaker about Qatar’s decision to provide employment opportunities to Pakistanis, he added that the process had already begun with 45,000 visas issued to Pakistani citizens.
The Qatari Emir is also expected to attend an investment conference on Sunday that will be followed by a meeting with the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi at the President House in Islamabad.
He further added that at present, two visa centers were operating in the country to facilitate the citizens and to ease the usual strenuous process of obtaining visa.
Qatari Emir to Land in Pakistan on Saturday Evening
Confirming the news about the arrival of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, al-Mansouri stated that the Emir will be landing in Islamabad on June 22, 2019.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is said to be receiving the Emir at the airport after which the Royal guest will be taken to the Prime Minister House where he will be presented with the guard of honor. The visit proceedings reportedly include bi-lateral meetings between the two delegations and a dinner hosted by PM Khan in honor of the Qatari Emir.
The Qatari Emir is also expected to attend an investment conference on Sunday that will be followed by a meeting with the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi at the President House in Islamabad. Honor.
It is reported that Pakistan and Qatar will sign several agreements in various fields of cooperation during scheduled delegation-level talks between the two countries including a renewed LNG import deal with Qatar. The new LNG deal is said to be a 10-year long agreement in which Qatar is obliged to provide Pakistan with 400 million feet (MMBFD) of LNG per day on subsidized rates.
Pakistan and Qatar will sign several agreements in various fields of cooperation during scheduled delegation-level talks between the two countries including a renewed LNG import deal with Qatar
Moreover, a $22 billion investment deal for various fields is reported to be signed between the countries according to the official Instagram account of PM Khan.
Pakistan to Balance its Alliances in the Gulf
Pakistan currently faces a serious economic challenge that it intends to work on through its allies in the Gulf. Last year on his visit to Saudi Arabia, PM Khan negotiated a $6 billion bailout package with the Kingdom. Additionally in December 2018, the UAE also offered help and announced a cash deposit in Pakistan’s State Bank in order to balance out the value of Pakistani rupee.
The country faces a critical challenge of balancing its alliances in the Gulf. The country’s alliance with Qatar is quite concerning for the Saudi-Emirati bloc as evident by UAE’s partial withdrawal from its cash deposit decision. Reportedly the UAE withdrew last payment of its financial support of $1billion days after PM Khan had visited Qatar in January 2019.
Pakistan has however maintained its impartial stance in the on-going Gulf crisis and has focused on developing cordial ties with all Gulf States. The Gulf crisis that began in June 2017 resulted in an abrupt imposition of an economic blockade and political boycott on the tiny gulf Peninsula by its former allies including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain over its neutral policy towards Iran – a Saudi arch rival, and for alleged support to Islamist group – an allegation consistently denied by Qatar.
Qatar has from the beginning tried to maintain cordial ties Iran with which it shares a massive reservoir of Natural Gas known as the North field, the Qatari share and South Pars Gas-Condensate field, Iranian share of the gas field in the Persian Gulf.
Qatar is the third largest LNG exporter with an estimated 28 percent of global market share according to the International Gas Union (IGU). Since its withdrawal from the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) in January 2019, Qatar has announced to focus on its strength i.e. Natural Gas and has planned to increase its indigenous LNG production and export trade program. It aims to increase its LNG production from 77 million tons to 110 million tons per year.
Qatar to Build Four-LNG Trains and Sixty LNG Carriers to Carry out Exports
Qatar earlier this year opened bid for the engineering, procurement and construction (PEC) of four-LNG trains that will be expected to carry 8.8 million tons of LNG per year. The competing contractors for the PEC bid include four joint ventures including Chiyoda and Technip; JGC Corporation and Hyundai Engineering and Construction; and Saipem, McDermott and CTCI Corporation. It is expected that the bid results will be announced in January 2020 and by 2024, the project is expected to be completed.
Qatar an important geo-strategic ally of the US hosts its largest military base of the region with more than 10,000 troops deployed at present.
In addition to that, Qatar Petroleum (QP) tendered notices to invite construction contractors for the construction of sixty LNG carriers for its exports to the US under its Golden Pass LNG project. The CEO of QP, Saad al Kaabi, has reportedly stated that the number LNG carriers will be further increased to 100 carriers in the coming years.
Qatar Adamant to Resolve the Gulf Crisis
Despite the protracted blockade on Qatar, it is reportedly committed to resolve the issues with its neighbors in the Gulf. The Qatari Emir is expected to visit the US in the first week of July amid the on-going US-Iran dispute in the region; an issue that will be discussed in the meeting. However, it is highly likely that Qatar will bring up the Blockade crisis and insist upon the US to pressurize its allies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE for its removal.
Qatar an important geo-strategic ally of the US hosts its largest military base of the region with more than 10,000 troops deployed at present. Qatar has maintained a balanced relationship with the US and Iran, two arch-rivals. The Qatari Foreign Minister, al Thani had reportedly visited Iran last month to head off tensions amid row between the two countries.