Islamabad – Pakistan has called back High Commissioner to Dhaka Imran Ahmed Siddiqui to Islamabad following important developments in the region, including Indian PM’s visit to Bangladesh, for urgent consultations, The Nation has learnt.
“I met President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and briefed them over bilateral relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh and other strategic developments in the region”,Imran Siddiqui told The Nation in an exclusive interview.
Infact High Commissioner Siddiqui was in Karachi on Monday to board a flight for Doha enroute to Dhaka when he received a call from the Prime Minister’s office that Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to meet him.
Siddiqui could not meet the Prime Minister earlier when PM Imran Khan tested positive for Covid-19. However, on Monday when Prime Minister Imran Khan started his meetings, Imran Siddiqui met the Prime Minister and briefed him about the state of Pakistan- Bangladesh relations.
At the Foreign Office, Siddiqui briefed the Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi twice on various aspects of Pakistan-Bangladesh relations.
“Leadership directed me to focus on improving bilateral relations and reach out to government level in Dhaka as well as in the business and trade community”, he stated. He quoted Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Haseena when he met her last year that “History is history but country to country relations should grow between two countries”.
Imran Siddiqui said he found the BD Prime Minister very supportive of his efforts for implementation of his diplomatic mandate from Islamabad.
When asked about people to people contacts and cultural ties between the two countries, he said Urdu is still a popular language in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi people hold Pakistan in affection and esteem, he said. He expressed optimism about bilateral trade and said Bangladesh is Pakistan’s tenth largest export market. A huge potential is still untapped, he stated.”Pakistan exports raw steel, yarn, cotton, various chemicals, boats and fabric to Bangladesh while Pakistan mainly imports processed fish, and jute”, he said.
He said he held meetings so far with BD Commerce and Home Ministers, President, Foreign Minister, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and with business leaders. “I found Bangladeshi people loving and desirous of strong ties with Pakistan”, he said. Siddiqui said Prime Minister Imran Khan has extended an invitation to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid to visit Pakistan. He said he would work to materialise this offer of visit by Prime Minister Imran Khan.