OTTAWA, OCT 17 – High Commissioner for Pakistan to Canada Raza Bashir Tarar has said that Pakistan enjoys a mature, ongoing and satisfactory relationship with Canada.
“Our relationship has much substance in it and it is free of any irritants which gives us room and opportunities to further develop this relationship, particularly in bilateral trade and investment,” he said in an interview with a local TV channel here.
He said there was a realisation in both Pakistan and Canada to expand their relationship further. He said Canada was an important country for Pakistan and the prime ministers of Pakistan and Canada, both popular leaders in their respective countries, had had telephonic conversations in recent months and high-level contacts had also been established between both the countries to further this relationship in coming days.
He said Pakistan under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan had been progressing and getting more recognition and respect globally and the recent re-election of Pakistan to the United Nations Human Rights Council by a maximum margin of votes through uniform support by all regions, including some important and influential countries, was an indication and manifestation of the international community’s confidence and trust in Pakistan’s commitment to progressive national and global human rights. “This election also vindicates our stance on Kashmir,” he said, adding the human rights violations in occupied Kashmir were an issue of global concern and Pakistan would keep highlighting the plight of Kashmiris suffering under the Indian yoke.
He also used the interview to welcome the Canadian businessmen and the Pakistani diaspora to invest and explore business opportunities in Pakistan which he said was open for business and the recent Ease of Doing of Business Report by the World Bank in which Pakistan was now ranked at 108 as compared to 147 two years ago, was reflection of the strength of favourable business climate in Pakistan. “The Mission is ready to provide any facilitation to the Canadian businessmen, particularly the Pakistani entrepreneurs and businessmen, to help them explore business collaborations in fields such as infrastructure, manufacturing, housing, oil and gas, education and energy in Pakistan,” he said.
Speaking about media reports of problems faced by Pakistani students applying for Canada visas, the High Commissioner said that it was the sovereign right of any country to decide who they want to admit to the country. However, he said the difficulties faced by the Pakistani students, particularly a higher rejection rate of their applications, had been taken up with the Canadian authorities and he had briefed forums such as Pakistan Canada Parliamentary Group and also proposed shifting of Canadian visa processing centre from Abu Dhabi to Pakistan. He said Islamabad had been declared a family station by the UN due to much improved security and the US, UK and other Missions were also enhancing their strength.
The High Commissioner also advised the Pakistani students to fill out their visa applications carefully and accurately by providing verifiable information about their means of income and other details. He said the Canadian government and the universities welcomed the international students and most of the Pakistani diaspora in Canada had also benefited from the education system in Canada and now playing an important role in the development of both Canada and Pakistan.