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May 18, 2021

Pakistan wants enhanced ties with EU: Gen Bajwa

 
May 18, 2021

RAWALPINDI: European Union Ambassador Androulla Kaminara Monday called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters (GHQ) here.

Matters of mutual interest and regional security situation, including the recent Afghan peace developments, were discussed. Gen Bajwa said Pakistan valued its relations with the EU and earnestly look forward to enhancing the mutually beneficial multi-domain relations based on common interests.

Ms Kaminara appreciated Pakistan’s sincere efforts for bringing peace and stability in the region, especially the Afghan Peace Process. Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry Monday apprised the EU Ambassador Ms Androulla Kaminara of Pakistan’s deep concern and anguish over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza and said the international community had an obligation to help resolve the situation and facilitate a just solution.

Fawad said Pakistan had declared Friday as a day of solidarity with the Palestinians who were suffering from continuous violence at the hands of Israeli forces, says a press release. He also apprised the ambassador of approval of two long-awaited bills for protection of journalists and media professionals and Forced Disappearance (Criminal Law Amendment Bill) and reiterated the government’s resolve to continue to facilitate the growth of a free and responsible media in Pakistan.

He said the media enjoyed unprecedented independence in Pakistan, as the government firmly believed in fundamental, democratic and constitutional right of freedom of expression. Talking about peace and development in the region, he said Pakistan desired good relations with all its neighbors and was willing to reciprocate any peace overture.

“One cannot move ahead if the other side is not ready to act responsibly,” he said, adding, “We cannot move forward by ignoring the situation in Kashmir.” They also exchanged views on the COVID-19 situation in Pakistan.

The minister said the Government of Pakistan was undertaking all possible steps to contain the pandemic through timely decisions and effective preventive measures. Fawad said NCOC was spearheading the drive against the pandemic.

He said when COVID-19 surfaced in Pakistan early last year, the country was not producing any protective gear against the viral pandemic, but within 4 to 6 months, it not only started manufacturing protective masks, kits and quality ventilators, but also went on to export these products.

Ms Kaminara said HRVP Borell had called a meeting of foreign ministers of EU member states on Tuesday, May 18 to discuss the situation. She said the meeting was convened to coordinate and discuss how the EU could best contribute to end the current violence in Gaza.

She appreciated the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan to protect its people from the pandemic. She also appreciated the rise in Pakistan’s exports in spite of COVID-19 pandemic.