STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD Nigerian High Commissioner Maj-Gen (R) Ashimiyu Adebayo Olaniyi has said that Nigeria views Pakistan as an important ally and we are particularly grateful to Pakistan Air Force for providing us with the Super Mushaq Jets and JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets. These views were expressed by Nigerian High Commissioner at a dinner hosted by Chairman Pakistan Cultural Forum, Zafar Bakhtawari at his residence. While addressing the guests, he encouraged businessmen to promote investment and other business activities in Nigeria. Speaking about tourism, the Nigerian Ambassador specifically mentioned Prime Minister Imran Khan’s interest in promoting tourism and high lighted the need for bilateral promotion of tourism from both. The chief guest for the dinner was former Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman. Addressing the guests at the dinner, he said that both Pakistan and Nigeria have been victims of terrorism, but it is important to mention that both countries have strived hard to eradicate terrorism in a successful manner. He thanked the Nigerian government and their military leadership for their trust in Pakistan’s fighter jets. Former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Noman Bashir said that Nigeria is one of the most important countries in the African region and emphasized the need to promote bilateral relations and cooperation with Nigeria in particular and African countries in general. Senator General (Retd) Abdul Qayyum said that Nigeria is of utmost importance because of its population, economy, natural resources and vast coasline. Both Pakistan and Nigeria should develop a joint strategy to foster their relations as well as promote their mutual interests. Chairman Pakistan Cultural Forum, Zafar Bakhtawari warmly welcomed the High Commissioner of Nigeria and said that Pakistan and Nigeria are two important countries of Asian and African continents. And the bilateral relations between the two countries are in the larger interest of not only both the two countries but also the entire region. Zafar Bakhtawari added that both Pakistan and Nigeria have been victims of terrorism for decades and both countries have curbed the menace of terrorism with great courage while the armed forces of both countries have offered numerous sacrifices to win this war. Both countries are engaged in a war against corruption and there is a dire need to devise an effective and long term strategy to curb this socio-economic evil. He further added that there are numerous opportunities for defense, trade and economic cooperation between the two countries which must be explored.