ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday apprised Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of India’s inhuman lockdown in the Occupied Kashmir, continuing for over 150 days.

The Crown Prince underlined UAE’s support for peace and stability in South Asia and peaceful resolution of issues. He said Pakistan was an important member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

In a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan here during a day-long visit, the Crown Prince also appreciated Pakistan’s important role in the OIC.

The Crown Prince was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising cabinet members and senior officials.

The Crown Prince underlined the strategic importance of UAE-Pakistan relations and extended cordial greetings for the brotherly people of Pakistan and good wishes for their accelerated development in the year 2020 and beyond.

The Crown Prince also instructed the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to allocate $200 million to support small and medium economic projects in Pakistan, Reuters said while quoting the UAE state news agency, WAM.

Khalifa Fund to allocate $200m to support Pakistani SMEs

The visit of the Crown Prince was the first by a foreign dignitary to Pakistan in 2020, and reflective of the special relations between Pakistan and UAE, which continue to grow deeper with the passage of time. The two leaders reaffirmed their resolve to take these relations to a new level.

In a special gesture, the Crown Prince was received by Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Nur Khan Airbase. Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed had earlier visited Pakistan in January 2019.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed held wide-ranging talks focusing on bilateral, regional and international issues, an official statement issued after the meeting said.

The discussions continued over the luncheon, hosted by the Prime Minister in honour of the Crown Prince and his accompanying entourage.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at the frequent exchange of high-level visits between Pakistan and the UAE and the steady development of cordial ties between the two fraternal countries.

Underlining the strategic importance of the Pakistan-UAE special relationship, the Prime Minister stressed the imperative of deeper economic engagement.

The Prime Minister highlighted the economic turnaround in Pakistan and the growing opportunities for foreign investment as well as fruitful trade and commercial engagement with key partner countries. Welcoming the UAE’s interest in investing in myriad sectors in Pakistan, the Prime Minister assured maximum facilitation for UAE investments. Among others, the possibilities in the energy and tourism sectors were highlighted. Closer collaboration in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector was also underlined.

The Prime Minister highlighted the positive contributions of more than 1.6 million expatriate Pakistani community, which considers UAE as their second home. Imran Khan also thanked the UAE leadership and its people for their commitment to Pakistan’s socio-economic development, focused in particular on health, education and youth.

PM Khan apprised the Crown Prince of India’s inhuman lockdown in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, continuing for over 150 days. He also highlighted India’s discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens and their negative consequences.

The Prime Minister underscored the need for the world community to take urgent steps to address India’s state oppression in IOJ&K, immediate removal of the continuing lockdown and other restrictions, avoidance of escalation of tensions on the LoC, and peaceful resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.

The OIC’s role in the advancement of the Islamic Ummah’s causes was discussed. The Prime Minister also apprised the Crown Prince of Pakistan’s efforts and positive contribution to the Afghan peace and reconciliation process. The Prime Minister underlined that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan and the region.

The visit takes place days after Emirati Minister for Tolerance Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, met Pakistani Premier and President in Islamabad to discuss expansion of bilateral ties in all fields including trade, investment, energy, culture and tourism.

The UAE leader’s visit comes in the backdrop of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud’s visit on December 26 during which he extended Riyadh’s support to Pakistan’s core national interests.