KUWAIT: Kuwait plays a vital role in bolstering peace, security, and development regionally and internationally, leading many countries, including Pakistan, to seek every opportunity to bolster relations, Pakistan’s envoy to Kuwait said on Saturday. In an interview with KUNA on the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, Pakistan Ambassador to Kuwait Malik Muhammad Farooq commended the role of Kuwait in various fields, saying that the humanitarian role played by Kuwaitis had earned the respect of their global peers.
The people of Pakistan in particular are grateful for their Kuwaiti brethren’s stance and support during natural disasters and crises, he affirmed. Pakistan, in return, saw the opportunity to give back to the State of Kuwait during its darkest hours of the Iraqi invasion, assisting Kuwait to rid the country of landmines after the liberation in 1991, he added.
He pointed out that the Pakistani community in Kuwait had always been heavily involved in cooperating with their Kuwaiti brothers and sisters in the welfare and development of the country, revealing that the number of Pakistani citizens currently residing in the country amounted to around 100,000. Farooq also commended the strong relations within the health sector, noting that there were a considerable number of Pakistani medical staff operating in Kuwait, which were recruited during efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 in 2020.
He affirmed that both countries were seeking to expand medical cooperation to bring more staff from Pakistan to work in Kuwait’s public and private health facilities. In regards to commercial exchange, Ambassador Farooq said that it reached USD 2.7 billion last year, revealing that around 90 percent of Kuwaiti exports to Pakistan consisted of oil products such as diesel fuel. Touching on the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development’s (KFAED) contributions to Pakistan, the envoy indicated that since 1977, the fund has contributed around USD 425 million to a multitude of projects in his country.
The Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company (PKIC), established in 1979 as a joint venture between the two governments, had contributed around $85 million to projects within Pakistan, namely the banking sector, said Ambassador Farooq in regard to an example of successful private cooperation. The Ambassador touched on exports to Kuwait, indicating that Pakistan had contributed food products such as rice and mango to the Kuwaiti market.
In February of last year, Kuwait hosted a Pakistani delegation featuring 28 representatives from various companies, said Ambassador Farooq, adding that a similar delegation was expected to visit later this year. The Pakistani diplomat also indicated that both countries had cooperated immensely within the defense domain, especially in maritime security, where Pakistan and Kuwait South continued cooperation.
He revealed that Kuwait took part as an observer in Pakistan’s Aman marine exercise last February. Ambassador Farooq took the opportunity to invite Kuwaitis to visit Pakistan for leisure and tourism, affirming that his country has much to offer in touristic services, especially during the spring season.- KUNA