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Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (second from left), with Ahmed Shaikhani (right) and Imran Chaudhry (left) arrives at the Pakistan Business Council event in Dubai on Saturday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoum Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the welfare of overseas Pakistanis is the top priority of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said that Pakistani expatriates are backbone of their country’s economy and a major source of foreign remittances. “We give them top priority when it comes to their welfare and solving their problems,” Qureshi told a group of prominent community members at an Iftar reception hosted by Pakistan Business Council in Dubai on Saturday.

The Foreign Minister also instructed the Pakistan Ambassador and the Consul General to focus on attending and solving the community issues. He said that all community complaints should be addressed without fail. “Specially those who are in trouble due to COVID-19 pandemic should be provided with immediate help,” he stressed. Qureshi also warned the Pakistani diplomats in the UAE to perform or action would be taken against them.

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Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (second from right), Imran Chaudhry, Pakistan Ambassador Afzaal Mahmood, Ahmed Sheikhani and Shabbir Merhcant at the iftar/reception hosted by Pakistan Business Council in Dubai on Saturday. Image Credit: Supplied

Ahmed Sheikhani, President Pakistan Business Council (PBC) and directors of the PBC including Shabbir Merchant, Imran Chaudhry, Iqbal Dawood and many others attended the meeting. Also present were Pakistan Ambassador Afzaal Mahmood and Consul General Ahmed Amjad Ali.

Qureshi landed at the Dubai International Airport on Saturday on a three-day official visit. On Sunday, he will visit Pakistan Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai site and will also meet UAE’s top officials.

On Monday, he will hold meeting with his counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other UAE dignitaries in Abu Dhabi. This is Qureshi’s second official visit to the UAE in less than five months. He also visited the UAE in December last year and held meetings with the UAE leadership.

Speaking at the event, Qureshi said that he was working ‘business diplomacy’ as he wanted to draw the attention of the businessmen and investors around the world to the emerging business opportunities in Pakistan. “The Pakistani economy is showing positive signs despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” he claimed.

He said the purpose of his visit is to further strengthen bilateral relations with the UAE in various fields. “I am happy that a large number of Pakistanis living in the UAE are playing important role in the development process of the UAE,” he noted.

During his visit, Qureshi will also hold consultations with the UAE’s leadership on all areas of bilateral cooperation including collaboration in trade and investment, job opportunities for Pakistani workforce and the welfare of Pakistani diaspora. He will discuss regional and global issues of mutual interest. The UAE is home to the second-largest Pakistani community abroad.

Pivotal role

“Pakistan and the UAE enjoy strong fraternal ties, rooted deep in common faith and shared history and values. High-level visits between the two countries have played a pivotal role in providing further impetus to strengthening bilateral cooperation and collaboration on a wide range of issues,” a Pakistan Foreign Office statement said.