President Mamnoon Hussain has asked the High Commissioner-designate to South Africa to protect Pakistan’s national interests and promote bilateral political, economic and trade relations; while projecting the soft image of Pakistan.

The president was talking to High Commissioner-designate of Pakistan to South Africa Dr Sohail Khan who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Wednesday.

Congratulating the High Commissioner-designate on his new responsibility, the president said that it is an important assignment as both countries have enjoyed warm and cordial relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1994.

Mamnoon emphasised that the High Commissioner should focus on enhancing bilateral trade with South Africa to exploit the true potential of the two countries.

Mamnoon Hussain stressed the need to find ways to benefit from South Africa’s strong manufacturing and technological base and its expertise in high-end industrial production. The president also called for expanding Pakistan’s economic relations with other concurrently accredited countries.

The president hoped that the recent signing of MoU on Defence and Defence Industrial Cooperation is a great step forward which will provide an institutional mechanism for enhancing defence collaboration with South Africa.

President Mamnoon also asked the High Commissioner to make all possible efforts to enhance people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

The president called for looking after the interests of Pakistani diasporas in South Africa and other concurrently accredited countries.