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Wednesday, November 26 2008, Ziqa'ad 27, 1429

 
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Relations with UAE get wider, deeper

THE visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Abu Dhabi has been highly productive as the leadership of the two countries agreed to widen strategic and economic cooperation to their mutual advantage. The decision of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to donate 400 MW power plant to Pakistan to help tackle the worsening power crisis was just a glimpse of the UAE’s special care and affection for Pakistan.

President Zardari deserves kudos for extracting commitment of more trade and investment from the brotherly UAE, which would contribute significantly towards mitigation of the problems facing Pakistan these days. Pakistan and UAE already have close cooperation in diverse fields but sky is the limit given commitment and persistency in exploiting the vast potential. This is not without any reason because their relations are founded on deep-rooted cultural affinities, shared faith and traditions, as also geographic proximity and identity of interests. Pakistan was the first country to accord formal recognition to UAE on achieving its independence in 1971 and bilateral relations have progressed steadily ever since to encompass fields like telecom, banking and infrastructure. UAE has been a major donor of economic assistance to Pakistan but the friendship extends beyond economic collaboration. Emirates was one of the leading countries who provided valuable assistance to Pakistan during 2005 devastating earthquake and flow of the assistance is still continuing for complete rehabilitation of the affected people and damaged infrastructure. Pakistan too has fully been reciprocating these gestures of the brotherly country and extended sincere hand in accelerating the pace of developmental activities in UAE. That is why UAE is appreciative of Pakistan’s contribution to the evolution of key institutions in the Emirates such as armed forces, police, health and education. Similarly, around seven hundred thousand Pakistani expatriates living and working in UAE are fully involved in the process of nation building besides sending back home much-needed foreign exchange. Trade and investment cooperation with countries like Emirates is without any strings and that is why we have been emphasizing in these columns that Pakistan should adopt ‘Look Arab’ policy that offers immense opportunities for progress and development of the country on sustainable basis. We would, therefore, urge President Zardari to undertake similar visits to other Gulf States as well and develop personal rapport with the leadership of these countries for our mutual good.

 

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