Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Pakistan’s focus is on enhancing economic relations and economic diplomacy with other countries as it wants to stress “trade over aid”.
“We want to get more out of our economic relationship with Germany,” said the foreign minister as he addressed a joint press conference with Germany FM Annalena Baerbock, who is on a two-day visit to Pakistan, in Islamabad.
Increased trade and investment between the two countries is a priority of the Germany, she said.
As an FM, Bilawal said his priority was to ease difficulties for businesses suffering from FATF restrictions and the country’s extended GSP plus status.
Bilawal assured the German FM of continued support to foreign governments, the European Union and the United Nations in the evacuation of their personnel from Afghanistan.
“So far the country has facilitated the evacuation of 90,000 people belonging to different countries and organisations,” he said.
The German FM said Islamabad was a close partner to Berlin and so far 14,000 Afghan refugees have travelled from Pakistan to Germany in the evacuation process after the fall of Kabul.
Bilawal added that he believed that releasing frozen Afghan funds would provide financial stability to the country’s economy as currently the world’s focus and resources are concentrated on the Ukraine crisis.
Bilawal said Pakistan emphasised the non-use of force and respect for sovereignty and territory as well as a peaceful settlement to the war. He said the country was in continuously in contact with the leadership of Russia and Ukraine since the war started.
He hoped the war would be ended through dialogue.
The foreign minister brought up human rights violations in Indian-Occupied Kashmir and the rising tide of Islamophobia in India.
Bilawal said that BJP leaders had deeply offended Muslim sentiment across the world.