The Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who concluded his two-day official visit on Sunday, expressed keen interest in enhanced bilateral collaboration in the energy sector as well as import of food items from Pakistan. Before departing to Doha at the conclusion of his visit from June 22-23, the Qatari Emir held talks with President Dr Arif Alvi at the presidency where he was also conferred with Nishan-i-Pakistan, the highest civil award, for his outstanding contribution to the enhancement of Pakistan-Qatar relations.
According to a statement issued by the presidency, wide ranging talks were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere, covering bilateral relations and regional issues.
While thanking the government and leadership of Pakistan for the gracious invitation and hospitality extended to him and his entourage, the Emir acknowledged the sacrifices made by Pakistan in fight against terrorism.
Expressing his desire to further solidify the economic content of bilateral relations, the statement added that the Qatari Emir evinced keen interest in enhanced bilateral collaboration in the energy sector as well as import of food items from Pakistan.
"He [Qatari Emir] offered assistance in building Pakistan's tourism potential through more Qatari investments and technical support in the hospitality industry", it stated. Expressing satisfaction at the pace of recruitment of manpower from Pakistan, it added that the Emir underlined Qatar's desire to import additional workers as well as trained security personnel from Pakistan.
Taking note of the progress achieved in Afghan peace talks, the two leaders agreed to continue working closely for regional peace and stability, it added.
President Dr Arif Alvi, in his remarks, complimented the Emir for his astute leadership, which enabled Qatar to make major strides in energy, tourism, aviation and construction sectors. The President admired Qatar's efforts to promote world sports. Taking note of 70 percent increase in Pakistan's exports to Qatar following direct linkage between Karachi and Hamad Ports, the President underlined the importance of increased volume of bilateral trade and enhancing and diversifying Pakistan's exports to Qatar.
He also focused on potential for enhanced Qatari investments in diverse fields and the prospects of further employment of Pakistani workers in Qatar. In the regional context, the President lauded Qatar's role in promoting efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, which was a notable contribution to regional peace, the statement further added.
In a special investiture ceremony, the President conferred upon Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the highest civil award, Nishan-e-Pakistan, for his outstanding contribution to the enhancement of Pakistan-Qatar relations.
The ceremony was attended by Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjarani, members of federal cabinet, parliamentarians, members of Qatari delegation and civil and military officials.
The ceremony was followed by a banquet lunch hosted by the President of Pakistan in the honour of the visiting dignitary and his entourage. Upon arrival at the President House, the Qatari Emir was accorded a warm welcome where President Dr Arif Alvi personally received the distinguished guest at the main entrance.
Two children clad in traditional dress presented bouquet of flowers to the distinguished guest.
Later, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani departed Pakistan for home on Sunday afternoon. He was seen off by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari.
Prior to his departure at the Nur Khan airbase, the Emir was given a detailed briefing on JF17 thunder jet and Mushshak aircraft of Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The Emir inspected the planes and evinced keen interest by asking questions from the crew.
During the two-day visit of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Pakistan and Qatar signed three MoUs and agreements for enhanced bilateral cooperation in different areas.