ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has said Pakistan is keen to improve ties with Bangladesh and called for utilising all avenues for improving the bilateral relationship, reports the Dawn.
Talking to Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh Imran Siddiqui, who had called on him at the Presidency on Tuesday, Dr Alvi said: “Pakistan highly values its ties with Bangladesh and wants to further expand cooperation by using the existing bilateral mechanisms.”Siddiqui had been called from Dhaka by the government for consultations on Bangladesh’s golden jubilee celebrations.
Bangladesh is holding its golden jubilee celebrations from March 17 to 27.
Heads of states and governments from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives have been invited to the celebrations.
President Alvi wished Bangladesh well on its golden jubilee.
Siddiqui briefed the president on various initiatives taken by Pakistan for improving the relationship with Bangladesh after years of frosty ties.
Last year saw a major improvement and Siddiqui met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Islamabad, meanwhile, removed all restrictions on Pakistani visas for Bangladeshi citizens.Pakistan and Bangladesh have multiple bilateral mechanisms, including foreign secretary-level consultations and Joint Economic Commission, but most have been suspended for years. It is being expected that foreign secretaries’ dialogue, which has not taken place for about 12 years, may resume in the near future.
President Alvi called for using all bilateral mechanisms for improving ties.
The Pakistan president asked High Commissioner Siddiqui to work on improving bilateral ties between the two countries with greater focus.
He underscored the need for enhancing commercial relations, business-to-business cooperation and people-to-people contacts for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
Dr Alvi emphasised the need for enhancing bilateral cultural and political exchanges as well as cooperation in the field of sports.
The Bangladesh-Pakistan relationship took a nosedive after Sheikh Hasina resumed the trial of ‘war crimes’ after starting her second tenure as prime minister in 2009.