Pakistan, Germany reaffirm commitment to further expand close, cordial relations

German BMZ delegation highly appreciates One Window Ehsaas Operations

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ISLAMABAD, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood Wednesday said that Pakistan and Germany enjoyed close and cordial relations since establishing the diplomatic ties in 1951 and over the years, these had grown from strength to strength.

The foreign secretary was speaking at a launching ceremony of the Pakistan-Germany commemorative coin held by the State Bank of Pakistan, to mark 70th anniversary of the establishment of Pakistan-Germany diplomatic relations.

He said both the countries remained fruitfully engaged to promote cooperation in diverse sectors, including trade and investment, energy, environment, education, innovation, science and technology, and defence and security.

Pak-German bilateral ties growing stronger: FS Sohail Mahmood

“The relations are reinforced by frequent high-level exchanges. Today, Germany is our largest trading partner within the European Union and amongst the biggest investors in Pakistan. It is also one of the most significant developments cooperation partners for Pakistan,” he added.

Foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood said the people-to-people interactions and cultural ties between the two sides were also well cherished and deep-rooted. Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the poet-philosopher of Pakistan, studied in Germany and completed his doctorate from the University in Munich in 1908, he added.

The foreign secretary further said the study of German literature and philosophers, particularly Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, left an indelible mark on Iqbal’s thinking and poetic work.

Deputy Governor Dr. Murtaza Syed Sahib and German Ambassador Schlagheck were also present during the ceremony.

He said a sizable Pakistani diaspora in Germany served as a strong bridge between the peoples of two countries.

Pak-German bilateral ties growing stronger: FS Sohail Mahmood

“The presence of a large number of Pakistani students in Germany is creating new opportunities for furthering cultural ties between the two countries,” he observed.

The foreign secretary said that the relationship between two countries stood taller and enriched, expressing that this bond would continue to grow further in the years ahead.

He said the commemorative coin was very artistically designed, with a keen sense of history.

This event was one of a series of activities that had been undertaken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to celebrate over seven decades of the friendship, he added.

Last October, he said, the ministry and the German embassy organized a grand reception to mark the 70th anniversary where the foreign minister also inaugurated solar panels gifted by Germany to the Foreign Service Academy.

The foreign secretary further informed that there was a port call by the German ship Bayern at Karachi. A commemorative postage stamp celebrating 70 years of our journey of diplomatic relations was also issued. These celebrations would contribute to building on the existing strong foundation of bilateral relations, he added. Meanwhile, A high-level German delegation from BMZ, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Germany hailed the One Window Center of Ehsaas in Islamabad. Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM briefed the delegation on the single window operations of the multisectoral Ehsaas program. The visit aimed to explore avenues of collaboration with Ehsaas. Mr. Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary BMZ; Mr. Helmut Fischer, Head of Division, BMZ; Mr. Bernard Schlagheck, German Ambassador to Pakistan; and Mr. Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, Board Member of the Deutsche Gesellschaft Fuer International Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), were part of the delegation. “With One Window Ehsaas, our aim was to deliver services through a single window at the citizen’s interface and therefore, we built One Window Ehsaas. One Window Centers are being expanded countrywide”, said Dr. Sania. Members of the delegation took keen interest in the real time demonstration of One Window Ehsaas operations. They witnessed the beneficiary services and people being facilitated. They were impressed to see how the center was helping people access myriad Ehsaas services under one roof. German delegates highly appreciated the simplified, integrated and rule-based execution of the multiple Ehsaas programmes through One Window Ehsaas. They felicitated Ehsaas on the commendable integration of all Ehsaas benefits under one roof. Together with Dr. Sania, Secretary Ismat Tahira, Additional Secretary Syed Moazzam and Director General Naveed Akbar also joined the visit. The One Window Ehsaas is articulated in six pillars: first being the Ehsaas center, whereas others include the back office digital interface, digital information and services platform, a mobile app, the integrated database and the Ehsaas One-Window Beneficiary Selection and Targeting Policy. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, abbreviated BMZ, is a cabinet-level ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. Pakistan and Germany have engaged in development cooperation since 1961, the year that the BMZ was founded. Currently, Germany’s development cooperation with Pakistan focuses on three priority areas: governance, energy and sustainable economic development.

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