Ambassador of United Arab Emirates
talks to CENTRELINE and DNA
By Ansar Mahmood Bhatti
The founder of UAE Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was keen to give an impetus to the bilateral relations between the two countries from the very beginning. It was further strengthened and patronized by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan enjoy excellent relations on political, economic and social levels, founded on deep-rooted cultural affinities, shared faith and traditions, these relations date back to the UAE’s formation in 1971, and have since evolved into wide-ranging co-operation in various fields, and this keenness of the leadership of UAE and Pakistan played an active role in strengthening and consolidating ties and deepening cooperation between the two countries, as there are numerous exchange visits at the leadership level over the decades.
Recently, the visit of Sheikh Muhammad Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed forces to Pakistan and visit of Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan to UAE gave fresh push to existing cordial ties between the two brotherly countries, and the deposit of UAE 3 billion dollars in the Central Bank of Pakistan to support fiscal and monetary policy of Pakistan reflects strong and deep rooted relations between the two countries.
Nearly 1.6 million Pakistanis are employed in UAE and contributing to the progress and prosperity of the both countries
United In trade
UAE emphasizes on importance of Pakistan’s stability and supports Pakistan in facing the terrorism challenges and appreciates the efforts of Pakistan in the fight against this menace.
The UAE is Pakistan’s second biggest trading partner and the total trade volume between the two countries has reached around $8.19 billion.
There are also dozens of UAE’s companies working in Pakistan in the fields of aviation, oil, ports and shipping, banking, telecommunications, insurance, real estate, food and technology, and we are working to more strengthening these relationships.
The two countries are ready to hold 12th meeting of the PAK-UAE joint ministerial committee in Abu Dhabi very soon to explore opportunities in different fields, and the two countries are expected to sign several agreements in various fields.
UAE humanitarian assistance:
UAE PAP was launched on 12 January 2011 upon the directions of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces (May God protect him), with the intent to help Pakistan overcome the consequences of the destructive torrential rains by rehabilitating the infrastructure.
The project follows a comprehensive plan of rehabilitation that takes into account the rugged geographical topography and harsh weather conditions. The plan has four main pivots to rehabilitate the area and secure community development: roads and bridges, education, health and safe drinking water supply schemes, Last year, the UAE and Pakistan signed a US$200 million cooperation agreement to execute third phase of UAE Pakistan Assistance Program (UAE-PAP).
Initiative of UAE Embassy:
Since Hamad Obaid Al Zaabi, took the charge as UAE’s Ambassador to Pakistan, he is working on plan to further deepen the cordial ties, especially economic relations, and he met with political leadership of Pakistan, as well as held series of meetings with Senior Businessmen, and visited deferent chambers of commerce and industry of Pakistan with aim to discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic cooperation between two countries.
Hamad Obaid Al Zaabi, played a proactive and vital role in enhancing and expanding the ever existing bilateral relations on political, economic, social and cultural fields.
He arranged the visit of Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to UAE, the visit of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan , the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces to Pakistan, which resulted the decision of UAE to deposited 3 billion dollar to support monetary policy of Pakistan, and also arranged the visit of high level trade delegation from UAE to Pakistan.
Furthermore, the scope of UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UAEPAP), extended to Province of Baluchistan, as the UAE and Pakistan inked 200 million dollar agreement to strength health, education, water supply and basic infrastructure in Baluchistan.
The Embassy extended also humanitarian projects to different areas of Pakistan including Sindh, Baluchistan, tribal areas and Gilgit Baltistan.
The Embassy of UAE is strengthening the interaction between the Universities and libraries of two brotherly countries.
UAE charity sends 175
Pakistanis for Hajj
The charity of United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has sent 175 deserving intending pilgrims from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia for performance of Hajj.
Second Secretary of the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Islamabad, Rashid Abdulrahman Al-Zamar Al Ali saw the Hajis off at the airport.
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Foundation for Humanitarian Aid Pilgrims chose 175 Pakistanis to perform Hajj this year.
According to details 102 intending pilgrims were embarked upon the holy journey from Islamabad and Karachi.
The rest had already left from Quetta and reached Hijaz-e-Muqqadas. All expenses of the pilgrims are being born by the charity organisation and the pilgrims will be provided all sorts of comforts during the Haj.
The charity was started by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in the memory of his great father founder of the UAE late Sheikh Zayed Al-Nahyan. The charity is engaged multifarious welfare activities across the world.=
Biggest visa center of Asia in Karachi
to start work from Sept 2019
UAE Embassy will be opening a visa center in Karachi which will become operational in the first week of September 2019 while another visa center will also become functional in Islamabad in the first week of October 2019 which would provide all facilities here in Pakistan. The UAE ambassador made this announcement during his recent visit to Karachi.
“Everything will be here including the medical insurance, checkups and the contracts etc. to facilitate visa issuance from the visa center in Karachi which will be the biggest visa center of Asia while the entire team for this Visa Center at Khayaban-e-Shamsheer in Karachi will come from UAE. exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).
While expressing gratitude to KCCI for extending warm hospitality on his visit to KCCI, UAE Ambassador said that he has visited many areas of Pakistan including Faisalabad, Sialkot, Lahore, Peshawar, South Waziristan and Quetta but Karachi was one of the most important cities of Pakistan where social life, atmosphere, culture and people were very different as compared to other areas including Islamabad.
UAE Envoy stated that relations between Pakistan and UAE have always been very strong and historical but there was a need to further build these relations by exploring the opportunities and potential areas for enhancing trade and investment.
“The governments of UAE and Pakistan are working very hard to narrow the gap and find opportunities, chances and potential for trade and investment”, he added.
“We are trying to find new areas of cooperation where we could work together and also examining the challenging areas so that these could be addressed by the authorities in UAE. Inshallah we will put our hands together to move forward in future”, he added.
He further informed that UAE was now offering Silver Investment Visa for 5 years and Golden Investment Visa for 10 years which were being issued under a specific criteria and depend on the size of a company and also the amount being invested.
He stressed the need for having legal framework between UAE and Pakistan to encourage and save investments made either in Pakistan or in UAE.
Agreeing to President KCCI’s suggestion of signing a Memorandum of Understanding between KCCI and UAE Chamber, he said it was really important so that a framework could be defined because when there was a gap and no official visits, the business communities and Chambers of Commerce simply will have no idea about the business potential in Pakistan and UAE.
“Any suggestion from Karachi Chamber which pertains to signing MoUs, agreements, workshops, conferences and seminars will certainly be taken into consideration”, he assured, “We are ready to support you and whatever you need, we are always there at the UAE Embassy and Consulate in Karachi to assist you.”
Chairman BMG & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, in his remarks, appreciated the support and cooperation being extended by UAE’s Embassy and its Consulate in Karachi as they have been fully facilitating KCCI’s visa requests from time to time and they haven’t faced any problems at all in this regard.
However, he requested the Deputy Consul General to devise some kind of system in collaboration with KCCI so that visas could be issued to credible businessmen and industrialists with a personal guarantee by KCCI.