Monday December 11, 2023

‘Pakistan has positive trade balance with Germany’

April 14, 2022

Islamabad : Dr. Muhammad Faisal, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Germany, has said that Germany is the most populous country in Europe and Pakistan has a positive trade balance with it.

Mr. Faisal was speaking at International Conference and Roundup on “Pak-German relations: Afghanistan post-2022 prospects and challenges” organised by South Asian Strategic stability (SASSI) University here.

Faisal said that Germany is the leader of Europeans and they are the “heaviest” in decision-making in Brussels. He expected high-level visits from Pakistan soon. He said that situation in Afghanistan is an area of interest and concern for both. This bumpy road will have its own openings, he said adding that Islamabad and Berlin will create new vistas of cooperation and opportunities. He said Pakistan does not want to be part of any grouping. The ambassador said that 90 per cent of discussion in Germany and Europe is on Ukraine.

Dr. Maria Sultan, Director-General, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University, said that CPEC is an important link in the western route of the Build and Road Initiative of China through which Germany and Iran can also be connected with the Chinese industrial cities.

She said that Gawadar will be a more cost-effective port for sea trade coming through Suez Canal than Singapore and Dubai. The prospect of sea-line communication in the future is behind CPEC, she said adding that North-South market activities will have ease of access through Gawadar. She stressed the need for sustained communication lanes for progress and development in Pakistan and the region.

Lewe Paul, Afghanistan and Pakistan Desk, KAS, Berlin, said that we need to explore areas of convergence to find space for constructively working together for security and stability in the region.

Dr. Hans Jakob Schindler, Coordinator, Counter-Extremism Project, New York, said that counter-terrorism is a common area of interest for Berlin and Islamabad. He said his organisation monitors activities of terrorist outfits from ISIS to the Taliban from Iraq to Pakistan. He stressed female education in Afghanistan. He said ISIS carries out activities in Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The Maldives and Central Asia also.

Gen (r) Raza Muhammad, former President, National Defence University, discussed Iqbal’s poetic influence on Iran, Turkey, and the Middle East and mentioned his stay in Germany.

He said that Islamophobia in India has made SAARC dysfunctional. He said that Indian policy is affecting stability in Afghanistan. He said that the implementation of Sharia and the desire to preserve culture is a priority for the Taliban. He hoped that co-education will soon be acceptable to the Taliban but segregation is important to them at the moment.

Dr. Hassan Daud Butt, CEO, KPK, BoI, said that we have potential in agriculture, livestock, mines, and minerals and we can integrate with the EU. He sought help in human resources and investment coming from Europe while keeping politics away.

Aamir Goraya, Assistant Resident Representative, Crisis Prevention and Recovery Unit, UNDP, spoke about key areas of his UN body’s working in Afghanistan. He said that UNDP along with the EU is also working in Afghanistan and KPK. He asked civil society to come forward and help in the humane issues.

Dr. Shabana Fayyaz from Quaid-i-Azam University said that the Taliban should be made to realise that they find themselves in sad situations not only because of external actors but also due to their own making. She lamented that Pakistan is a route to drug trafficking. She observed that gender and youth are building blocks for development in the region.

Dr. Christian Wagner, SWP Berlin, Dr. Ellinor Zeino, KAS Regional Representative, Southwest Asia, and Prof Nadeem Mirza, QAU, also spoke on the occasion.