ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: As many as 236 Pakistani prisoners including three women are confined in prisons under the jurisdiction of various Missions in China, the Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told the Senate.
Replying to a question by the Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah in writing, the foreign minister also apprised the House about steps being taken for the release of Pakistani prisoners, and told that in pursuance of the Treaty of Transfer of Sentenced Persons between Pakistan and China that entered into force in October 2020, the process of transfer has started.
The minister said that a formal request for the transfer of first batch of 21 Pakistani prisoners was submitted to the Chinese Ministry of Justice in March 2022.
Bilawal told that the Pakistan Mission is constantly in touch with the Chinese authorities for an early approval of transfer of first batch.
The foreign minister apprised that in the last three years, 18 Pakistani prisoners have been released from Chinese prisons after completing their sentences.
In addition, he said that Pakistan and China enjoy excellent broad-based and long-term relationship characterized by feelings of mutual trust, respect and goodwill towards each other.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari maintained that as close friends and partners, both Countries have multi-faceted bilateral cooperation in diverse fields such as in economic, political, defence and cultural areas.
To another question by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, the Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told the Senate that Pakistan’s bilateral relations with Malaysia have witnessed upward trend as reflected in exchange of visits at the highest political level and signing of important agreements.
During these visits, memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in various sectors and other important agreements/treaty were signed.
The minister told that a salient feature of enhanced bilateral interaction at the official level was initiated in Islamabad by convening the Inaugural Session of Bilateral Consultations at Foreign Secretaries Level.
Bilawal said that Malaysia has been extending support to Pakistan to graduate to ASEAN’s Full Dialogue Partnership. It also provided valuable support to Pakistan on FATF.
While the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticized India’s illegal actions of August 5, 2019 during his address at the United Nations General Assembly in 2019.
The foreign minister further told that bilateral trade between the two Countries saw remarkable uptick as Pakistan’s exports increased to US$ 460 million (highest figure ever) in 2021-22 taking total trade volume to US$ 1,723 million.