News Desk |
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan met his Qatari counterpart PM Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, on Wednesday during his brief stopover in Doha concluding his working maiden trip to the United States.
On what is being described as a “royal reception”, PM Khan was personally received by PM Sheikh Abdullah at the Hamd International Airport where the two heads of governments held a brief meeting. Later, a banquet dinner was hosted at the residence of Qatar’s PM Sheikh Abdullah in honor of the Pakistani delegation led by PM Khan.
Qatar had announced to hire 100,000 Pakistan’s workforce in 2015 according to the ministry’s official sources.
The delegation from Pakistan included PM’s Adviser on Commerce and Trade Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari and Secretary Foreign Affairs, Sohail Mehmood.
This was the second official interaction between Pakistan and Qatar this week. Earlier PM Khan was received by the CEO of Qatar Airways Akber Al Baker during his transit stop in Doha on his way to the United States to meet the US President Donald J. Trump.
Earlier this week Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Naeemul Haq said PM Imran Khan will fly to Washington by Qatar Airways. The close aide to the premier made this announcement on Twitter ahead of Imran Khan’s key visit to the United States.
PM Khan is the first premier of the country who took a commercial flight to a trip abroad in a bid to abide by austerity measures introduced to limit official foreign trip expenditures.
Takeaways from meeting with Qatar’s PM Sheikh Abdullah
According to media reports, both sides emphasized on the need to further improve bilateral ties between the two counties. Although no official sources have confirmed yet but it is also expected that the Afghanistan peace efforts would have also been a point of discussion in the bilateral meeting as both Qatar and Pakistan are key US allies in the Afghan dialogue being hosted in Doha.
The close aide to the premier made this announcement on Twitter ahead of Imran Khan’s key visit to the United States.
Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to comprehensively upgrade bilateral partnership through cooperation in various fields including trade, investment, energy, agriculture, tourism, manpower, aviation and public diplomacy.
Qatar also lauded contributions made by Pakistani citizens in Qatar for its rapid development and economic expansion. PM Khan recalled Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s visit to Pakistan last month and appreciated the generous monetary support of the Gulf country during strenuous times.
Last month the Gulf state had deposited the first tranche of $500 million with the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign currency reserves out of the total $3 billion Doha pledged to deposit and invest to strengthen economic ties with Islamabad during Emir’s visit to the country.
Qatar has emerged as the fourth brotherly and friendly country to having extended a financial assistance package at times when Islamabad is facing an acute shortage of dollars to shore up its foreign currency reserves.
According to media reports, both sides emphasized on the need to further improve bilateral ties between the two counties.
China, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates deposited a total of $9.2 billion in cash with the SBP’s foreign currency reserves during the outgoing fiscal year ending on June 30, 2019.
Qatari Emir offers to upgrade five major airports of Pakistan
A meeting called by PM Khan last week discussed an offer by the Qatari emir to upgrade five major airports in Pakistan. The Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had offered to upgrade the airports to make them into modern, international standard facilities.
Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates deposited a total of $9.2 billion in cash with the SBP’s foreign currency reserves during the outgoing fiscal year ending on June 30, 2019.
He had offered Qatar’s monetary and technical support according to official sources. The meeting led by PM Khan mainly discussed how the government was to decide the way in which this offer will be fulfilled.
The meeting included Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and officials of the Civil Aviation Authority. The possible outsourcing of airport service contracts to foreign contractors was also discussed in the meeting.
55,000 skilled and semi-skilled labors sent to Qatar from Pakistan
Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development have sent as many as 55,000 skilled and semi-skilled workforces to Qatar for prospective job opportunities in construction and other sectors since 2015.
Qatar had announced to hire 100,000 Pakistan’s workforce in 2015 according to the ministry’s official sources. They said around 10,000 Pakistanis preceded to Qatar for various job opportunities in 2016 and 2017. However, the sources said, as many as 20,000 workers were sent to Qatar during the last year.