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June 14, 2019

Pakistan seeking stronger ties with Central Asia: FM

World

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APP
June 14, 2019

BISHKEK: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday Pakistan was focusing on adopting people-centric approach, in addition to formal diplomacy, in order to strengthen ties with Central Asian states. Addressing a gathering of Pakistani community in the Kyrgyz capital, he said commonalities of culture, religion and traditions could bring Pakistan closer with Central Asia.

The foreign minister said the government had taken steps to promote tourism as a means to develop people-to-people contacts with other countries and also relaxed its visa regime to encourage foreign tourists.

Owing to scenic beauty, he said, the Central Asian states could become a good holiday destination for Pakistani tourists apart from their usual trend of heading towards

the West.He, however, regretted that absence of direct air links between Pakistan and Central Asian countries could be an impediment which needed to be worked out.

Qureshi said around 2,600 Pakistani students have been studying in various educational institutions in Kyrgyzstan, adding they could prove themselves as best ambassadors by promoting the country’s positive image abroad. He said expatriate Pakistanis had a greater role in creating enabling environment and goodwill with Kyrgyzstan.

The foreign minister apprised the Pakistani community of the government’s recent measures to strengthen national economy, saying it was a matter of concern that half of national revenue was being diverted to debt servicing.

He said the government’s amnesty scheme for declaration of assets was an opportunity for the people to whiten their money in the best interest of themselves and for the country.

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