ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday held separate meetings with Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Takashi Kurai and Afghan Ambassador Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal.

Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Kurai congratulated the finance minister on the successful completion of the recent IMF Extended Fund Facility Programme.

He shared that the completion of the IMF programme is indicative of the reforms that Pakistan has undertaken and this is highly appreciated by the Japanese institutions and it will bode well for future investment prospects in Pakistan.

The finance minister appreciated the positive sentiments of the Japanese Ambassador for Pakistan and said that Pakistan has been moving ahead on the growth trajectory and there are more benchmarks to be achieved. The completion of the recent program is the historic achievement and will lead to the growing international confidence in economic stablility achieved by Pakistan.

During the meeting, the ambassador was briefed on projects, which are in the pipeline and can be considered for mutual co-operation and Japanese economic assistance.

Meanwhile, Afghan Ambassador Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal expressed deep sense of grief and sorrow over the sad incident that occurred in Quetta, resulting in loss of precious lives besides inflicting injuries on a number of others.

The minister appreciated the clarification given by the Afghan ambassador on the holding of Pakistani currency in Afghanistan. The finance minister said that both sides need to focus more on the enhancement of bilateral trade and commerce. The Afghan ambassador discussed with the finance minister the possibility of finding new avenues of trade with Afghanistan for further strengthening of economic ties between the two countries. According to the Afghan ambassador, Pakistan has an added advantage for investing in the food processing industry of Afghanistan as the people in Pakistan understand the choices of the local population better than any other regional entrepreneur.

The finance minister said that it is the desire of the present government to render all possible assistance and support to the Afghan government and he looks forward to build further on the economic and cultural relations between the two countries.