On Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day, Afzaal Mahmood, Ambassador of Pakistan to UAE, says it is a time to reflect on the role of previous generations in shaping the nation. “Every Independence Day is important as it reminds us of the sacrifices made by our elders and efforts made by our leaders to ensure freedom for a proud nation,” he says.
Speaking to GN Focus, Mahmood also refers to the special relationship between Pakistan and the UAE and how it grew stronger during the pandemic. “The partnership between our two countries has strengthened with a rapid pace during the year 2021,” he says.
Next month, a trade and investment delegation from the UAE is scheduled to visit Pakistan to explore the possibility of enhanced trade, investment and joint ventures.
Mahmood says that the two countries already enjoy a complementary trade relationship. “Pakistan’s exports to the UAE include agriculture products, textiles and manpower,” he says. “The UAE, on the other hand exports petroleum, petrochemical products and hi-tech equipment to Pakistan. The two countries also exchange services with each other. IT, AI and fintech are new areas of collaboration with great potential.”
I would also like to use this opportunity to assure every Pakistani of our best efforts to help and support them while they try to support their families and nation.
Working for the community
The Ambassador reveals that throughout the pandemic, the embassy and consulate continued to provide services to the expat community.
He also says that work to improve and enhance services is continuous. “The embassy has been holding Khuli Kachehri (open house) sessions to listen to and address any issues faced by the Pakistani community. Another initiative of digitisation of consular services has also been taken on an experimental basis to serve our nationals more conveniently. There has been reduction in passport and visa fees in the recent past. Online ID cards, passports and visas have made it possible for Pakistanis to avail these services from home.”
“Pakistan is planning to participate in the Expo 2020 in a big way,” says Mahmood. “The Pakistan Pavilion has already been handed over to us. We have planned extensive activities to carry out during the six months of Expo. Taking this opportunity, I would like to wish the UAE success with the event,” he says.
Mahmood believes that ahead of Expo, it remains important for residents to continue taking precautions against Covid-19. “I avail this opportunity to reach out to all Pakistani brothers and sisters in the UAE to appeal to them to strictly follow the host government’s guidelines and SOPs on Covid-19 for their own safety and the safety of their nearest and dearest.
“I would also like to use this opportunity to assure every Pakistani of our best efforts to help and support them while they try to support their families and nation. May Allah bless all of us and our beloved country.”