forwebIslamabad, November 19, 2014: A roundtable discussion on “Pakistan-UAE relations: challenges and prospects,” was held at the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) here today. It was chaired by Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I.), the President, CPGS, and was well attended by prominent foreign policy experts, academics, practitioners, journalists, CPGS team and university students.

The keynote speakers of the roundtable were Lt. Gen. (R.) Asif Yasin Malik H.I.(M), Former Defence Secretary and Ambassador (R.) Javed Hafiz.

The discussion revolved around five basic questions. They were:  What are the areas of opportunities and cooperation for the improvement of relations between the two countries; the role and importance of Pakistani Diaspora in UAE; what is the future vision of Pakistan-UAE relations; we have discussed what UAE do for Pakistan, but what can Pakistan offer to UAE; how important is cooperation between the two sides on the evolving situation in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and India?

The participants of the roundtable gave, among others, the recommendations that, in order to improve Pakistan-UAE relations, the bilateral ties should be institutionalized rather than being conducted personally by the top leadership of both sides; given the changed nature of UAE job market, skilled persons from Pakistan should go for work to the UAE; and, in view of the proximity between the two countries, a high priority should be given to the export of perishable food items like fruits and vegetables to the UAE.

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