OTTAWA, Canada: Pakistan’s High Commissioner Raza Bashir Tarar met the Canada-Pakistan Friendship Group at the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa to brief them on host of issues including travel advisory against travel to Pakistan and high rate of visa refusal to Pakistani students and traders.
The High Commissioner briefed the Friendship Group on improved security situation in the Country and the priority areas of the new government to introduce structural reforms in the key sectors and institution-building. He also highlighted FDI friendly policies available in the automobile, energy, telecom, manufacturing and tourism industry in Pakistan, from which Canadian companies can benefit.
The High Commissioner said that as Canada pursues a path to diversifying its partnerships, Pakistan is one of the emerging economies in Asia offering tremendous opportunities. Pakistan seeks reviving the full spectrum relations in political, trade, investment and development fields with Canada, he added.
Raza Bashir Tarar also informed the Parliamentarians that the existing trade relations between the two countries need to be given boost and allowing genuine traders to visit Canada to meet with their counterparts can provide required impetus to trade relations between the two countries. Similarly, removal of travel advisory for Pakistan will also enable Canadian traders to travel and avail the existing profit making opportunities.
The High Commissioner also took up the issue of high rate of visa refusal for Pakistani students and stressed that the visa processing center should be moved back to Islamabad, as done by other western countries, in view of the improved security situation. Raza Bashir Tarar added that it will allow the Canadian immigration officials to ascertain the credentials of the visa applicants etc.
The Co-Chair of Canada-Pakistan Friendship Group Rob Oliphant briefed the High Commissioner on their endeavours to promote friendship between the parliamentarians of the two countries. He said that Canada recognizes economic importance of Pakistan and appointment of new trade commissioner will help business community to increase trade. He assured the High Commissioner that the Parliamentary Group will take up the issue of visas for students and traders with Immigration department and of removal of travel advisory with the concerned department. He informed that with the group’s efforts Islamabad has been excluded from travel advisory and more cities will be placed in that category. He also discussed the future roadmap for bringing together the two people.
Those who attended the meeting included Co-Chair Salma Zahid, Co-Chair Rob Oliphant, Geng Tan, Randeep Sarai,g Chandrya Arya,Terry Duguid and Ramesh Sangha, members of Canadian Parliament.