UAE extends $2 bn loan to Pakistan

The UAE’s support came during the visit of Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to the Gulf nation…reports Hamza Ameer

The United Arad Emirates (UAE) has decided to help Pakistan with a $2 billion bailout package, committing “every possible support to Pakistan”.

The UAE’s support came during the visit of Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to the Gulf nation.

Qureshi thanked UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, stating that UAE’s help “reflected the warm and brotherly ties between the two countries”.

“We greatly appreciate the UAE’s continued support and cooperation,” maintained the Pakistan foreign office.

Qureshi has also raised the issue of visa restrictions for Pakistanis in his meeting with the Emirati Minister for Tolerance and Coexistence, Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Bin Ali Al Sayegh.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

During the visit, Qureshi also highlighted the contributions made by the Pakistani nationals residing in the UAE for both the countries.

“He emphasised the need for nurturing and strengthening people-to-people linkages, as well as removing the impediments that hamper travel between the two countries,” maintained the Pakistan foreign office.

It is pertinent to mention that the UAE had put a ban on work visas for Pakistani nationals, creating a major impact on Pakistan as it relies on remittances from the Emirates.

Also read:Pakistan suspends travel from India

While the restriction was attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, many believe that the move came after Pakistan started showing inclination towards the formation of a joint consortium with Turkey and Malaysia to represent the Muslim world, which would be a direct opposing and challenging entity to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), led by the Arab world.

Moreover, Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process and a cold shoulder support by the Arab world to Pakistan on its stance on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir with India, were also among the reasons why the relations between the two countries hit a bump.

But the recent intervention by the UAE in initiating and facilitating backdoor secret talks and meetings between top level intelligence officials of India and Pakistan resulted in imposition of ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC), delegation level talks on water dispute and signs of opening of trade through the Wagah border.

On the other hand, a massive number of Pakistanis are employed in the UAE, who send remittances back to their home country, playing a pivotal role in supporting the country’s crippling economy.

Pakistan has stressed the need for an early resolution to the visa restrictions for its citizens, apprising the UAE of the difficulties being faced by the Pakistani community in the UAE.

Also read:Congress Questions UAE Role in Indo-Pak Talks