ISLAMABAD   - Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari has said that Pakistan greatly values its relations with Bangladesh as they are a brotherly nation having the same roots, besides sharing historical, religious and cultural affinities.  He expressed these views while talking to High Commissioner of Bangladesh Suhrab Hossain at Parliament House here on Thursday.

He said the bonds of friendship between the two brotherly countries should be strengthened via increasing their access to each other at both government as well as the Parliament level. There is a dire need to enhance people-to-people contacts and exchange of delegations of Parliamentarians, businessmen and intellectuals to generate such momentum, which can lead to enhanced cooperation and collaboration in various fields, he added.

Talking about further strengthening Pakistan-Bangladesh ties, Bangladeshi High Commissioner emphasised the need for activating Pakistan-Bangladesh Parliamentary friendship groups in both countries for more frequent exchanges in order to learn from each other's experience.

Chairman Senate also reciprocated the similar sentiments and said, "Pakistan-Bangladesh must strive hard to enhance their cooperation at every level. There exists tremendous potential for enhancing trade volume between two countries and increasing connectivity by air and sea routes is hence essential".  Bokhari said that regular exchange of delegations of Chambers of Commerce of respective countries could lead to working out trade enhancing strategies. Currency swap arrangements as well as reducing of tariff barriers can be looked into for easing trade between the two countries. 

High Commissioner told the Chairman that economy of Bangladeshi was growing satisfactorily at 6 percent and Bangladeshi products were gaining market access abroad. He said Pakistani cotton, yarn etc. and finished products also had market in Bangladesh and hence mutual demand existed that needed to be exploited to enhance trade volume. However, it is high time to increase connectivity by initiating and expansion of travel services through sea and air routs. Direct shipping service between Karachi and Chitagong as well as more flights to Bangladesh can lead to more frequent people to people contacts and generate business activity.

Chairman Bokhari said that Bangladesh was important country of the SAARC region and they had understanding on many issues, now it was the time they must move forward to further deepen our engagements for mutual benefit, progress and prosperity of people of two brotherly nations.

Suhrab, the Bangladeshi High Commissioner also highlighted the importance of exchange of cultural delegations to enhance cultural appreciation and linkages of the two sides. He also expressed his delight that Cricket could be a connecting link between people particularly youths of the two countries.  He invited Chairman Senate as well as other Parliamentarians to visit Bangladesh. Earlier, he congratulated Nayyar Bokhari for his unopposed election as Chairman Senate.