PM, COAS discuss national security matters

PM urges int’l community to condemn Islamophobic incidents

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ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif today, the PM Office said Tuesday. “The professional matters pertaining to national security were discussed during the meeting,” the PM Office said in a statement. Meanwhile to another official commitment, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday called upon the international community to take notice of the recent incidents of Islamophobia that took place in Sweden and the Netherlands. “The people of Pakistan and Muslims around the world are deeply hurt by the recent incidents of Islamophobia in Sweden and the Netherlands,” he said in a tweet.

PM Shehbaz Sharif said the international community must condemn these incidents and stressed taking steps to check such “abhorrent behaviour”. He also emphasized standing united against Islamophobia. Earlier, the Foreign Office in a statement had said that “these mindless provocative Islamophobic incidents served no purpose other than hurting the sensitivities of over 1.5 billion Muslims living all over the world”. “Such actions are not covered under legitimate expressions of the right to freedom of expression or opinion, which carry responsibilities under international human rights law, such as the obligation not to carry out hate speech and incite people to violence,” the FO said. Furthermore, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday emphasized his government’s commitment to further advance the economic dimension of the relationship with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The prime minister expressed these views in a meeting with UAE Ambassador Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi, who called on to felicitate him on assuming the office. PM Shehbaz Sharif stressed focusing on enhanced trade, investment, energy, infrastructure, food security, and employment generation between the two countries. He affirmed that Pakistan and the UAE had always enjoyed special relations which were firmly rooted in shared history, common faith, and geographical proximity. He underlined that these relations were further amplified by close people-to-people contacts.

The prime minister also acknowledged the important role of expatriate Pakistanis in the development of the UAE, who were serving as a strong bridge between the two countries. He also conveyed his warm greetings to the UAE leadership and expressed his firm resolve to closely engage with them to further deepen and broaden this vital partnership. Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep appreciation for the vision of the UAE leadership for the inspirational transformation of the country in the span of just 50 years. Extending warm felicitations to Shehbaz Sharif on assuming the office of the prime minister, the envoy reaffirmed the UAE’s desire to further strengthen bilateral relations with Pakistan. Pakistan and the UAE enjoy close fraternal ties marked by decades of close collaboration. High-level interactions provide continuous momentum to the growth of bilateral cooperation. Adding to this, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said with dedication and persistent work as the motto of the government, the new cabinet would work efficiently towards addressing the problems of the people. “It is my fervent hope that federal ministers, ministers of state and advisers will provide leadership, and also resolve the problems of the people,” he said in a tweet as his cabinet took oath of office this morning. The prime minister said the federal cabinet had been formed after thorough consultations with Pakistan Muslim League Leader Mian Nawaz Sharif and the coalition partners. He said, “Work, work & only work is our motto”. Earlier to this, The Prime Minister thanked the Qatari Ambassador for the messages of felicitations from the Qatari leadership. He underscored the importance Pakistan attached to its relationship with Qatar and reiterated his resolve to work towards further expansion of mutual cooperation in diverse fields. In particular, the Prime Minister highlighted trade, investment, energy and manpower sectors in this regard.

The Prime Minister appreciated Qatar’s role in facilitation of the Afghan peace process and expressed the desire that both Pakistan and Qatar would continue to work together for promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan and provision of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. Qatar is home to a large Pakistani diaspora in the Gulf Region. Pakistan and Qatar enjoy close, cordial ties resting on the firm foundation of shared faith and values. The two countries closely collaborate bilaterally, as well as on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

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