Strong ties, shared values

Danial Norjidi

With ties that encompass various fields, the people of Pakistan and Brunei Darussalam are bound together by fraternal relations rooted in a common faith, shared values and cultural affinities.

This was shared by High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Brunei Darussalam Major General (Rtd) Abdul Aziz Tariq in a message conveyed on the occasion of the 81st National Day of Pakistan.

“Today on March 23, 2021, all Pakistanis within and outside Pakistan are celebrating the 81st National Day of Pakistan, which is in commemoration of passing of the resolution of March 23, 1940 for the establishment of a separate homeland for Muslims in the sub-continent,” said the high commissioner.

“On this auspicious day, I on behalf of the Government of Pakistan and on my own behalf wish to convey my felicitations and warm compliments to all Pakistanis, friends of Pakistan and share our rejoicings with the friendly and brotherly people of Brunei Darussalam.”

“This day reminds us of the persistent struggle of our founding leaders, which they undertook for the eventual religious, economic, and socio-cultural independence of Muslims living in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the determined dedication of Quaid–e–Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, our founding father and combined hard work of those who believed in the philosophy of Pakistan, we were successful in achieving independence and established a sovereign state, Pakistan on August 14, 1947, which also happened to be 27th of Ramadhan Hijrah 1366.”

High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Brunei Darussalam Major General (Rtd) Abdul Aziz Tariq
The high commissioner noted that various sectors of Pakistan’s economy offer investment potential

The high commissioner highlighted that Pakistan faced many challenges since its independence. “At the gateway to Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and even East Asia, our geographical location, which on one hand is a source of tremendous strength to us but on the other, has also been the reason for facing many tumultuous times. But despite all odds and difficult times, Pakistan has come a long way, thanks to resilient nation of 211 million people, and is now on the rising curve to growth and prosperity.”

“The year 2021 is being seen as the year of change. Democratic government is building new Pakistan on the Islamic principles of equality. All people are equal in the eyes of law,” shared the high commissioner. “It is a matter of great satisfaction that the present democratic government has been addressing various issues of the polity including security, economy, energy, good governance and corruption.”

Touching on the field of economy, the high commissioner highlighted that with the present government’s reform initiative and commitment to a calibrated fiscal and monetary management, the overall macroeconomic situation of the country is stabilised. He also noted that remarkable improvements in workers’ remittances, foreign exchange reserve, tax collection and containment of fiscal deficit is being achieved.

“The progress on Pakistan-China Economic Corridor has revolutionised economic development of the country,” he said. “The economic turnaround is further evidenced by the fact that Pak Brunei Investment Company, initiated in 2005 with USD50 million has recorded significant gains and crossed the USD400 million in its worth. It is among the top performing joint investment companies set by Pakistan and Brunei and shows the strength of our bilateral ties.”

The high commissioner noted that various sectors of Pakistan’s economy offer investment potential, such as agriculture, livestock, poultry, fisheries, energy, infrastructure development, construction, information technology, telecommunication, textile, retail, automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industry.

In terms of foreign policy, he shared that Pakistan’s government received acceptance and support from the friendly countries, and that many world leaders visited Pakistan.

The high commissioner highlighted that Pakistan greatly values its relations with Brunei Darussalam, which he said encompass various fields including defence, education, health, manpower and people to people contact, trade and investment. “The people of Pakistan and Brunei Darussalam are bound together by fraternal relations rooted in a common faith, shared values and cultural affinities. Pakistan’s heads of state or government have visited Brunei.”

“Our former President late General Muhammad Zia ul Haq visited Brunei and participated in 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. We have signed a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements with Brunei and there are numbers of 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. In fact Brunei-Pakistan relations are not measured through economic or trade volume rather the human values. 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, governments and the people.”

“We are grateful to the Government of His Majesty for hosting Pakistanis in Brunei Darussalam in various fields including health, education, commercial and defence related fields,” he said. “His Majesty is the honorary Colonel of the Regiment of our elite, Special Services Group (famously known as SSG).”

The high commissioner noted that Pakistan, due to its geo-strategic location in the region which was once synonymous with the fabled ‘Silk Road’, has been a melting pot of civilisations, a conduit for trade and commerce as well as a corridor for culture and ideas.

He shared that Pakistan strongly believes in peaceful coexistence and connectivity of countries for collective prosperity, adding that “The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts”.

“I would also like to avail this occasion to reiterate on my fellow countrymen in Brunei Darussalam to work hard with total dedication and sincerity in their respective areas of specialisation in this abode of peace and be a very useful and productive member of Bruneian society,” he said.

“I once again take this opportunity to felicitate the Pakistani community and friends of Pakistan in Brunei Darussalam on the occasion of 81st National Day of Pakistan, and convey my very best wishes and assurances for the continued enhancement of Pakistan-Brunei relations.”

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

“Long live His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. Long live Brunei – Pakistan friendship. Long Live Pakistan,” added the high commissioner.