The prime ministers of Pakistan and Bangladesh held a telephonic conversation on Wednesday in a rare occurrence of diplomacy as the two estranged countries seek rapprochement.
“Pakistan is committed to deepening fraternal relations with Bangladesh on the basis of mutual trust, mutual respect and sovereign equality,” said PM Imran Khan, according to a statement issued by his office.
The premier reiterated his invitation to Sheikh Hasina to visit Pakistan.
He extended condolences for the lives lost during the pandemic, and offered his commiserations on the material and human losses due to the recent flooding in Bangladesh and prayed for early recovery of the people affected by this natural calamity.
The two leaders exchanged views on their respective steps to deal with the myriad of challenges posed by Covid-19. Imran apprised of his government’s efforts and commended his Bangladesh counterpart on the measures taken by her leadership to contain the virus.
He also apprised her of his ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’ for developing countries. In the bilateral context, Imran underscored the importance Pakistan attaches to closer ties with fraternal Bangladesh and highlighted the significance of regular bilateral contacts and people-to-people exchanges.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to SAARC, Imran underlined the importance of both countries working for enhanced regional cooperation for sustainable peace and prosperity.
He shared Pakistan’s perspective on the grave situation in the Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir and stressed on the importance of a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for a safe and prosperous region.
With the discussion about the steps taken to curtail the rapid spread of the disease in the region, the two leaders also discussed the issue of Indian Occupied Kashmir which is pushed under a brutal clampdown by Indian occupied forces since August last year.
Apprising the Bangladeshi counterpart of the deteriorating situation in Occupied Kashmir, the premier “shared Pakistan’s perspective” on the issue and highlighted the importance of a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
“Both countries are working for peace and stability in the region,” PM Imran maintained, stressing to enhance bilateral relations with Bangladesh. Extending an invitation to the Bangladeshi prime minister to visit Pakistan, the premier said that Pakistan wants a relationship with Bangladesh based on trust, mutual respect, and sovereignty.
Earlier this month, Pakistan’s High Commissioner Imran Ahmed Siddiqui held a rare meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in Dhaka. The meeting raised eyebrows in New Delhi, which viewed the development with suspicion.
The Bangladesh government called the meeting a “courtesy call” but sources said it was much more than that. It is believed that Imran-Hasina telephonic conversation was the result of that meeting.