Pak-GCC ties

DURING his two day visit to Islamabad, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa held wide ranging talks with Pakistani leadership for promotion of relations in diverse fields including defence, energy and agriculture. Addressing a news conference along with Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, the Bahraini FM also stated that Pakistan and the GCC are close to initiating a strategic dialogue and that a free trade agreement between them is also in the pipeline.
Indeed Islamabad has historic relations with all Arab countries including Bahrain. These relations are deep rooted in common faith, history, culture and shared values. Despite all this affinity and closeness, we understand the bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Gulf countries does not commensurate with the goodwill that in fact existed between the two. Given the geo-political situation, time demands that Pakistan and all GCC countries forge greater security, trade and economic relations to ensure a safer and prosperous future for their peoples. It is a matter of satisfaction that proposals such as FTA and strategic dialogue are now on the table. Whilst both Bahrain and Pakistan are already cooperating in different sectors, we believe that companies and investors of Bahrain should be allured to invest in the industrial zones to be set up under the umbrella of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to share prospects that the mega corridor project offers in terms of changing trade and economic landscape of the whole region and beyond. Strategic relations between Pakistan and Gulf countries assume greater significance following the propaganda campaign that has been unleashed against Muslims and Islam. In current scenario, there is a greater need that all Muslim countries rise above their differences and forge greater unity in order to meet all challenges.

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