Oman excels in good governance

REPORTS emanating from Muscat speak of Oman focusing on fiscal reforms and economic diversification, as per futuristic approach of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, to reduce the country’s heavy reliance on hydrocarbons. The Sultanate is also laying emphasis on easing regulatory environment and reducing red-tape to attract investors. This is in continuation of far-reaching transformation that people of Oman have witnessed during 48 year rule of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bringing unprecedented socio-economic development as well as peace and security to the country. It is, therefore, no wonder that Oman is today considered as one of the most peaceful and stable country, ranks high in economic freedom index and has prominent position in ‘ease of doing business’ ranking.
Oman’s journey to progress and prosperity under the dynamic leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said serves as a model for third world countries especially for the Islamic world as his model of development combines Oman’s Islamic and Arab heritage with modernisation. Sultan Qaboos not only envisioned plans and policies for well-being of his people but also ensured their vigorous implementation. It is because of his dedication, devotion and caring attitude that the Sultan command’s immense respect among his people and is rated as one of the best statesmen of the contemporary world. A glimpse of how Sultan Qaboos changed destiny of his country can be seen in the economic performance of the country as GDP of Oman increased from just $256 million in 1970 (when he assumed power) to over $80 billion, which is an enviable achievement. It is because of cumulative effect of the good governance that Oman resembles an Oasis of Peace, Muscat is one of the cleanest cities of the globe and religious tolerance is rated as one of the best.
While Sultan Qaboos provided guidance and ensured strict vigilance in all aspects of governance, he is lucky enough in having committed and hard working team members who translated his vision into reality in letter and in spirit. These include, among others, Abdulaziz bin Mohammed al Rowas, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan and Dr Abdul Mon’em bin Mansour bin Said al Hasani, Minister of Information, who have made a mark on cultural and information landscape of the country. Abdulaziz al Rowas was named as Arab Heritage Man last year in recognition of his efforts in promoting the Sultanate’s heritage and the Arab heritage in general and Dr Abdul Mon’em is instrumental in introducing innovative ideas to modernise media of Oman and to give an example a ‘Media Proficiency Competition’ has been launched to help promote professional skills by media. Oman is today internally stable, economically prosperous, and established as a nation integral to foreign relations in the Middle East and the world. Oman has strictly maintained balance in its foreign policy and despite the fact that it is situated in a region caught in sectarian tension, the Sultanate has successfully tried to keep a distance from controversies and maintain cordial relations with all countries. It is also actively involved in conflict management process linked to regional security and stability like Yemen and Sultan Qaboos carved out a niche for Oman as a diplomatic back-channel, notably between the West and Iran.
As for bilateral relations, Pakistan and Oman have always enjoyed cordial relations covering different spheres of life and economy and there is desire on both sides to take them to new heights. Visit of Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in March 2018 was also timely in the sense it provided an opportunity to the two countries to take stock of the regional developments and how to harmonise their policies in security and defence fields. Pakistan’s young and dynamic Ambassador to Oman Ali Javed is also putting in resolute efforts and energy to bring the two countries still closer in different fields transforming their historical linkages into a robust partnership, drawing strength from the two countries’ common interests. As Gwadar is being developed on a fast track basis under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), it is all the more necessary that the two countries make concerted efforts and enter into a new mode of cooperation to take full advantage of the mutually advantageous opportunities. We would also urge decision-makers of the two brotherly countries to explore possibilities of joint ventures especially in food and agriculture besides enhanced training opportunities in Pakistan for Omani youth.

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