Pakistan, Bosnia agree to expand trade, military, agriculture ties

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Bosnia have agreed to improve the volume of bilateral trade and expand cooperation in multiple fields, including trade and agriculture.

The understanding came at a meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Chairman Sefik Dzaferovic on Wednesday.

The two sides on the occasion signed two memoranda of understanding; one related to scientific and technological cooperation and the other about readmission of their own citizens and the accompanying protocol.

Later in a joint media talk, PM Imran pointed out that the trade between the two countries currently stood at 4.5 million euros, which was nothing. He said that both the sides have decided to hold further deliberations to improve trade and cooperation in every field.

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The PM expressed his gratitude to the Bosnian president for his principled stance on the Kashmir dispute. He said that India has been taken over by a fascist regime that was not only persecuting innocent people in occupied Jammu and Kashmir but also targeting its minorities, especially the Muslims.

Voicing his concerns over the rising trend of Islamophobia, the premier said that freedom of speech shouldn’t be used as a tool to hurt the sentiments of any religious community. He said that desecration of holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) causes the greatest pain to the Muslims and the Western countries must understand it.

The PM said that he and Dzaferovic discussed the publication of blasphemous caricatures in France and condemned the act in the name of freedom of expression. Imran Khan said that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and Muslims should not be targeted. He also condemned the advertisement of blasphemous caricatures in France.

In his remarks on the occasion, the Bosnian Presidency chairman noted that both the countries have stood by each other in difficult times, recalling how Pakistani peacekeepers in UN missions played an important role in his country.

Regarding the Kashmir dispute, Sefik Dzaferovic said that human rights of the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir must be respected. He also stressed the resolution of the dispute in line with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Dzaferovic strongly condemned Islamophobic incidents in the world, as “these were unacceptable and religious feelings of the Muslims should not be hurt”. He called for a dialogue to build bridges and evolve unity around diversity.

The chairman said that there were great opportunities of cooperation between the two countries in diverse areas including military, agriculture, diplomacy. “I have held detailed discussions with the Pakistan PM regarding trade and economic cooperation. Both countries have the opportunity to increase their trade volume,” he added.

He was appreciative of the fact that Pakistan has successfully tackled the Covid-19 and thanked Pakistan for offering assistance to Bosnia in the fight against the pandemic.

He also invited Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Bosnia. The premier thanked Sefik Dzaferovic for inviting him to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Earlier in the day, Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Chairman Sefik Dzaferovic, accompanied by a high-level delegation, arrived in Islamabad on a two-day official visit.

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