Tuesday September 21, 2021

Rabbani for deep political, trade relations with Cuba

March 04, 2017


Pakistan and Cuba have agreed to maintain upward trajectory in bilateral relations witnessed in the recent past. 

This was mulled over in a meeting of Chairman Senate of Pakistan Mian Raza Rabbani with the Vice President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel at Havana as a part of Senate Parliamentary delegation visit to Cuba. 

“We need to further augment the existing warmth and goodwill to forge a mutually beneficial and future-oriented relationship between our two countries”, said Rabbani. He added, “Our two parliaments maintain close cooperation through exchange of visits and coordination at Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) on issues of common interest”. 

Chairman Senate said that people of Pakistan fondly remember and greatly appreciate the medical assistance provided by Cuba to Pakistan in the aftermath of the massive earthquake in 2005 and that kind gesture brought our two countries and people even closer.

“Pakistan has also reciprocated during devastating hurricane in Cuba in 2008 and has also offered 100 scholarships in various fields for Cuban students. The Government of Pakistan has also donated 15,000 metric tons of rice to the people of Cuba in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Pakistan and Cuba diplomatic relations,” he pointed out.

Rabbani said that the gestures of goodwill had brought the two countries and people closer and opened up new avenues of cooperation. He noted that Pakistan wished to further strengthen bilateral cooperation with Cuba in all fields and there was a lot of potential for expansion in mutual relations, which once properly harnessed, could benefit both the sides considerably. 

Senate Chairman contended that in this age of globalisation where physical distances were losing relevance, the potential of Pakistan-Cuba relationship held immense promise and prospects. He said, “We should explore areas to expand trade and investment as economic cooperation provides the essential vehicle for adding content and substance to the bilateral relations. The volume of bilateral trade is much below the actual potential and calls for concerted efforts to enhance economic cooperation in new areas”. 

Rabbani also apprised the Vice President of Cuba that Pakistan’s strategic geographical location put us in a unique position to act as a trade corridor connecting Iran, Central Asia and China. He also expressed the hope for enhancing the people to people contacts, cooperation in education, science and technology as well as supporting each other on multilateral issues. 

Chairman Senate also said that Pakistan was committed to peaceful co-existence with neighbours, especially Afghanistan and India on the basis of mutual respect and equality. He said that Pakistan had suffered the most at the hands of the terrorists and no nation has done more to eliminate terrorism than Pakistan. 

He reiterated that Pakistan was committed for a meaningful dialogue with India while on the contrary the Indian side not only continues to escalate the tensions and build the media frenzy, but also arm-twisted smaller Saarc members to undermine the Islamabad summit. 

Rabbani said that it was important to recognise that the Indian narrative of equating the indigence movement of Kashmiri youth for the right of self-determination cannot be accepted and the human rights violations by the Indian occupation forces in the Indian Held Kashmir could not be negated. The international community should come forward to curb these human rights violations.