Mahathir Mohammad arrives, Rs120 bn accords to be signed

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ISLAMABAD: Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad was accorded a red carpet welcome as he arrived on a three-day official visit to Pakistan on Thursday evening.

He was warmly received by Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Nur Khan Airbase. Two children clad in traditional dresses, presented him a bouquet and a 21-gun salute heralded the arrival of Dr Mahathir Mohammad. A contingent of Presidential Guards presented static salute to the dignitary who is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Malaysian prime minister will be the chief guest at the Pakistan Day parade tomorrow (March 23). Mahathir was accompanied by a high-level delegation, including several leading businessmen. He was received at the airbase by the host prime minister, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Khusro Bakhtiar.

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said that memoranda of understanding (MoUs) covering $800-$900 million (approx Rs120 billion) worth of investments with Malaysian investors would be signed today (Friday). The memoranda will cover deals in information technology (IT), telecom, power generation, textile, agriculture and halal food industries.

“We believe Malaysia will be an opening for us to the Asean (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries,” Abdul Razak Dawood vowed.

The visiting prime minister’s bilateral engagements also include a call on President Arif Alvi, and a one-on-one meeting with Imran Khan, followed by delegation-level talks today (Friday). The two prime ministers are scheduled to speak at the roundtable meeting of the chief executive officers, who desire to invest in Pakistan’s automobile and telecommunication sectors.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal in a statement said the visit of the Malaysian prime minister will further cement the existing brotherly and friendly relations between the two countries.

He said the focus of the visit will be on enhancing economic, trade, investment, and defence ties for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries.

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