Special Advisor to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development and Chairman National Tourism Co-ordination Board (NTCB), Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari returned home from Doha on Friday after concluding a successful three-day visit calling it a prosperous trip.
The tour was designed to promote Qatar-Pakistan relations in the field of investments, tourism and manpower. SAPM held fruitful meetings with Qatar Chamber of Commerce, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister of Qatar, Qatar Development Fund, CEO of Qatar Airways, the Secretary-General of Qatar National Tourism Council, and several meetings with Pakistani Community followed by a visit to a labor camp in Doha.
During the visit, Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari visited Qatar Chamber and met with the Second Vice Chariman, Rashid-bin-Hammad Al-Athba. The advisor touched on trade and economic relations between both the countries and ways of enhancing labor-related affairs.
Al-Athba noted that Pakistan “is among Qatar’s important trade partners.” According to him, Qatar-Pakistan bilateral trade grew by 63% from QR5.8 billion in 2017 to QR9.5 billion last year. He showed his willingness to extend all possible help to Pakistan in the field of trade and economics. He assured the delegation about making concrete efforts to protect the rights of the workers and requested for more skilled and qualified manpower from Pakistan especially for FIFA 2022 event.
Zulfiqar Bukhari said Qatar and Pakistan “are linked by deep and fraternal relations.” He lauded the State’s decision in 2015 to recruit 100,000 Pakistanis and requested for exhausting the original 100,000 quota so that further quota can be allocated as per the vision of the Emir of Qatar and to speed up the hiring process to strengthen the ties further. The advisor also discussed the possibility of establishing QVCs in Lahore and Peshawar so as to strengthen and increase its role.
While meeting with the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, H.E Yousaf Mohamed-Al-Othman Fakhroo, the two reviewed aspects of joint cooperation between the two countries, especially on issues related to Pakistani workers, and ways to support and develop them. Zulfiqar Bukhari highlighted the potential of the Pakistani workforce and urged to expedite the Public sector recruitment in the health and energy sector. He also emphasized the need for digital connectivity between the two ministries, which would make the recruitment mechanism more efficient.
The meeting was followed by a visit of Zulfiqar Bukhari to the Asian town Labor camp in the Industrial Area at Doha, Qatar where he interacted with the Pakistani workforce. PM’s advisor on Overseas Pakistani was briefed regarding the facility and he interacted with the workers and reviewed their lodging, dining and recreational facilities to get an overall picture of the provisions being offered to the laborers. The workers apprised the advisor about their issues on which the advisor assured them of all possible help from the government particularly from the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis.
During his visit, SAPM met with the officials of Qatar Fund for Development and requested for intervention by QFD for establishment of a state of the art educational institution in Islamabad which was shared with HRH Emir of Qatar during his visit. He agreed to provide details of this proposal to QFD so that they can look into the matter and decide about possible avenues of cooperation for establishment of this seat – of learning oar excellence – as per vision of the PM.
On the last day of this three-day tour, Zulfiqar Bukhari called on the Deputy Prime Minister also the Foreign Minister of Qatar, HE Mohammad bin AbdulRehman-bin-Jasim Al Thani, and CEO Qatar Airways also the Head of tourism of Qatar, Akbar-al-Bakar.
While meeting the Foreign minister, Bukhari conveyed him Pakistan’s narrative on Kashmir. They further discussed about ways to strengthen the bilateral trade and people-to-people relations between Pakistan and Qatar.
SAPM Zulfiqar Bukhari regarded his Doha tour as wonderful and prosperous. He said that Pakistan is in talks with Qatar to open two more Visa centers in Lahore and Peshawar which will boost a significant number of manpower.