PR No. 60

President Dr Arif Alvi has said that Pakistan and Oman needed to work closely to substantially enhance the volume of bilateral trade by further deepening the business and investment ties, establishing close linkages and enhancing the interactions among the businessmen and investors of both the brotherly countries. The President expressed these views while talking to the outgoing Ambassador of Oman to Pakistan, Al-Sheikh Dr Mohammed Omar Ahmed Al-Marhoon, who called on him, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, today. Talking to the outgoing Ambassador, the President said that Pakistan and Oman enjoyed a brotherly strategic partnership in many areas, and were bound together by common history, cultural heritage, values, faith, traditions and proximity of geography. He added that the volume of mutual trade between the two countries stood at US$ 653 million and should be further enhanced by making collective efforts. The President said that the possibility of starting a ferry service between Pakistan and Oman should be explored, adding that the start of the ferry service would facilitate the export of Pakistani fresh vegetables, fishery and other edible items to the entire Middle East through Oman, which would help also improve the trade and investment between the two countries. During the meeting, the President highlighted the increasing trend of persecution of minorities, especially Muslims in India, the increase in violent incidents of Islamophobia, and atrocities committed by the Indian forces against the innocent Kashmiris in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK). He urged the world community to take notice of the persecution of minorities and rising Islamophobia in India and to use its influence for the resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir Dispute in accordance with the resolutions of UNSC and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The President said that Pakistan would appreciate the early ratification of two recently signed MoUs on Maritime Cooperation and Defence Cooperation in the year 2020. He stated that the Pakistani Diaspora in Oman, approximately 250,000, was serving both countries in various fields and the resolution of labour issues of Pakistanis living in Oman would further cement relations between the two countries. The President expressed the hope that the issue of recruitment of Baloch people from Gawadar/Makran, halted since 2015, due to the economic crunch in Oman would be addressed at the appropriate level.