Pak-UAE relations are based on strong foundation and mutual respect: Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Saleh Al-Zaabi

Arif Qureshi

The ambassador of United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Pakistan, Mr. Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Saleh Al-Zaabi and military attache Brigadier Majid Salim Al-Saabri hosted a colorful ceremony to mark 43rd anniversary of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces Day in Islamabad. Ambassador of the UAE Mr. Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Saleh Al-Zaabi and military attaché Navy Majid Salim Al-Saabri received the distinguish guests with fair amount of warmth at the reception and had chat with them on arrival and departure both. Ambassador Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi has earned remarkable popularity among the diplomatic crops in short span of time as it was his second Armed Forces Day reception that he hosted in Islamabad.

Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza, Chief of General Staff (CGS), GHQ, and Lieutenant General Azhar Abbas, Director General Joint Staff (DG JS), JSHQ, were the guests of honor. The national anthems of the two countries were played, and it was followed by a cake cutting ceremony. The skill and commitment of the UAE armed forces showcased in the documentary impressed the large number of the military and defense attaches of Asian, European and western missions stationed in Islamabad.

Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to Pakistan, in an informal conversation on the occasion said that the UAE’s wise leadership attaches great importance to promote the historic ties between the two countries which are based on strong foundation, respect and mutual confidence. He said that bilateral relations are unique and are based on joint fraternal, cultural and social bonds through, highlighting the UAE’s commitment to its development and humanitarian projects in Pakistan.

UAE Ambassador lauded the outstanding UAE-Pakistan relations, saying that they are based on solid foundations and a mutual recognition between the leadership of the two countries to strengthen them in various fields. The bonds between the UAE and Pakistani peoples are historic and strong, noting that late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has special love for the people of Pakistan.

The UAE Ambassador emphasized that the UAE leadership strongly believes that education and health are the cornerstone of building human capital and for a prosperous future.

It is reminded that the UAE has been supporting Pakistan particularly during times of disasters and natural calamities. The UAE Project to Assist Pakistan ( PAP), which began in 2011 and focused on development projects such as building schools, universities, roads, bridges, water projects and improvements in the health sector in various areas of Pakistan.

The UAE and Pakistan signed an agreement in May 2018, worth US$200 million under the assistance programme for further investment in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. Al-Zaabi also referred to the 2019 Year of Tolerance declared by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, noting that the UAE has taken firm steps to consolidate the values ​​of tolerance.

Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi, pointed to the charitable and humanitarian projects to be launched by the Embassy in Islamabad during the Holy Month of Ramadan, which is an opportunity to spread the spirit of tolerance and to show the true image of moderation and respect for others. Tolerance, Al Zaabi said, is the basis of cohesion in any societies and the main reason behind spreading the values ​​of peace and coexistence.

A lucky-draw was carried out at the end of the ceremony where a racer motorbike and several gifts were distributed among the guests. The PTCL/U-Fone Chairman Rashid Khan initiated the balloting of lucky-draws. The PTCL also contributed gifts distributed among the guests. The guests felicitated Ambassador Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi on holding the grand function.

The UAE armed forces which are equipped with the most sophisticated weapon systems of the world and have the services of well-trained and groomed personnel in their ranks demonstrated their capability to thwart designs of its enemy. Last year a smart contingent of United Arab Emirates (UAE) armed forces headed by Mohammad Ahmad Al Bawardi, UAE Minister of State for Defence Affairs, participated in the 78th Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad.

UAE’s armed forces demonstrated their military abilities and the performance of UAE military contingent was highly appreciated by Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership and lauded by the print and electronic media. It was the first time that UAE’s military participated in a Pakistan National Day parade. The UAE’s participation reflected the fast growth in defense cooperation between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

Frequent exchanges of high level visits and regular bilateral consultations between the civil and military leadership of Pakistan and UAE are reflective of the fact that Pakistan and UAE have laid strong foundations of mutually beneficial relations, friendship and peaceful cooperation over the years. The UAE has emerged as one of Pakistan’s major economic and trading partners.

A large number of Pakistani expatriates, numbering nearly 1.2 million are gainfully employed in UAE. The Pakistani expatriates in UAE have contributed in a significant manner to promotion of bilateral understanding and to the economy of Pakistan through their home remittances. The relationship between the two has been dubbed as a special relationship. The UAE also has a long cricket relationship with Pakistan, serving as a home ground for the Pakistan cricket team.

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