By Shabbir Hussain
ISLAMABAD, June 21 (Diplomatic Star): Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday expressed his government’s strong resolve to redouble its efforts to enhance and expand bilateral cooperation with Canada in the areas of mutual interest, in particular, trade, investment, energy, health and education.
The Prime Minister was talking to High Commissioner for Canada Ms. Wendy Gilmour, who called on him here.
During the course of their conversation, he discussed Pakistan-Canada long-standing relationship, which was marked by cordiality and friendship.
While briefing the High Commissioner on government’s business friendly policies, the Prime Minister invited the Canadian companies to take advantage of these policies to make investment in Pakistan.
Speaking of his confidence that the Reko-Diq project would generate jobs and create economic activity especially for the people of Balochistan, he expressed the hope that Barrick Gold would soon commence its work on the site so as to begin reaping dividends from the project.
The High Commissioner stated that the Canadian companies would be encouraged to explore economic and investment opportunities in Pakistan.
In the regional context, the Prime Minister underscored the imperative of maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan, while urging the international community to step up its efforts to avert humanitarian and economic crises in that country.
High Commissioner Gilmour conveyed her government’s deep appreciation for Pakistan’s continued cooperation with Canada, particularly with regard to evacuations in the aftermath of developments in Afghanistan post-15 August 2021.
On Ukraine, the Prime Minister while reaffirming Pakistan’s principled position to uphold international law and the UN Charter, urged the international community to remain engaged in the search of a peaceful resolution to the grave problem, through diplomacy and dialogue.
He also shared with the High Commissioner that Pakistan had dispatched four consignments of humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine.
Noting that there was an active Pakistani diaspora in Canada, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of enhancing people-to-people contacts and high-level exchanges.
He also stressed that both countries needed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in a befitting manner.
The Prime Minister extended a cordial invitation to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to undertake an early official visit to Pakistan, as it would surely contribute to enhancing Pakistan-Canada ties.