Strong Brunei-Pakistan ties lauded

Danial Norjidi

The people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Brunei Darussalam are bound together by fraternal relations rooted in a common faith, shared values and cultural affinities.

High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Brunei Darussalam Major General (Rtd) Abdul Aziz Tariq said this in a message conveyed on the occasion of Pakistan’s 74th Independence Day.

“On August 14, 2020 all Pakistanis, are commemorating the 74th Independence Day of Pakistan. On this auspicious day, on behalf of the Government of Pakistan and myself, convey my felicitations and warm greetings to all Pakistanis and friends of Pakistan.”

“Pakistan came into being through hundreds years of heroic struggle and enormous sacrifices, both life and material, by Muslims of the subcontinent under inspiring leadership of one of the greatest men who ever lived; Mohammad Ali Jinnah rightly known as Quaid-e-Azam (greatest leader).”

The message noted that Pakistan came into being as a free Muslim state in quite unfavourable conditions. It had no resources and had to build up administrative machinery from scratch.

“However, supreme efforts were made by the Muslims who exhibited a strong stance under Quaid’s leadership. In his last message to the nation on August 14, 1948 he told the nation, ‘The foundation of your state has been laid and it is now for you to build and build as quickly as you can’.”

File photo shows docked boats at the Attabad Lake in Pakistan
High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Brunei Darussalam Major General (Rtd) Abdul Aziz Tariq. PHOTO: HIGH COMMISSION OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN

The high commissioner highlighted that, despite all odds and difficult times, Pakistan has come a long way, thanks to a resilient nation of over 220 million people, and is now on the rising curve to growth and prosperity.

“It is a matter of great satisfaction that the newly elected democratic government headed by Imran Khan has promised to address various issues of the polity including security, economy, energy and good governance while ensuring austerity, simplicity and accountability.”

He affirmed that Pakistan offers great investment potential, noting that its geo-strategic location makes it Asia’s premier trade, energy and transport corridor for Central Asia, Gulf, Southeast Asia and Far Eastern regions.

The consumer market in Pakistan is growing at a very fast pace as reflected by tele-density of around 79 per cent, and the country’s economy has shown resilience based on strong structural reform programmes, the high commissioner said.

“Pakistan’s investment policy trends have been consistent with liberalisation, de-regulation, privatisation and facilitation being its foremost cornerstones. The legal framework is in place for Special Economic Zones to meet the global challenges of competitiveness and is attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs).

The high commissioner also spoke on the ties between Pakistan and Brunei, saying, “Pakistan greatly values its relations with Brunei Darussalam, which encompass various fields including defence, education, health, manpower and people to people contact, trade and investment.”

“The Pak-Brunei Investment Company is a flagship initiative strengthening our economic relations. The company, initiated with USD50 million, is a success story which has recorded best gain and crossed USD350 million in its worth.

It is among the top performing Joint Investment Companies setup by Pakistan and Brunei and shows the strength of our bilateral ties.”

He said five Pakistan heads of state or government have visited the Sultanate.

“Our ex-president, late General Muhammad Zia ul Haq visited Brunei and participated in the first Independence Day celebrations of Brunei Darussalam in 1984. Pakistan had the honour of hosting His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam twice in Pakistan.”

Pakistan has signed a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements with Brunei and held numerous bilateral forums and exchange programmes.

“The Government of Pakistan has deep desire not only to further deepen these ties, but also diversify these to other areas. Both nations are bound in a unique blood-bond relation since the dawn of Islam. Our modern day relations are deeply embedded in the commonality of strategic vision between our leaders, government and the people. We are grateful to the Government of His Majesty for hosting Pakistanis in Brunei Darussalam in various fields including health, education and commerce.”

The high commissioner also said that Brunei and Pakistan regularly maintain contact at the highest level, and a regular visit by Commanders on both sides is a common practice.

“His Majesty is the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment of our elite, Special Services Group (famously known as SSG),” said the high commissioner.

“I would like to conclude by specially mentioning the vision, leadership and benevolence of His Majesty for ensuring the peace, prosperity, development, harmony and happiness in Brunei.”

“Long live His Majesty. Long live Brunei-Pakistan friendship. Long live Pakistan,” the high commissioner said.