The Foreign Secretary Ms. Tehmina Janjua held an hour long telephonic conversation with her Canadian Counterpart and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Ian Shugart in the evening of 7 March 2019. They reviewed the state of play in the bilateral relationship and the evolving regional situation. Foreign Secretary was scheduled to travel to Ottawa for the next round of Pak-Canada Bilateral Political Consultations on 7 March but the visit was postponed due to the prevailing security situation.

The two sides took stock of the key areas of bilateral interest including enhancing political engagement, exploring avenues of economic cooperation, bilateral trade and consular matters. The Foreign Secretary informed Mr. Shugart on the Government’s priority to facilitate foreign investors and invited Canadian businesses to explore the huge potential of the Pakistani market. Challenges to Pakistani nationals for obtaining Canadian visas were also discussed.

The Foreign Secretary availed the opportunity to brief her Canadian counterpart on the ongoing situation between Pakistan and India. She underscored Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability in the region and highlighted the repeated overtures by the Prime Minister of Pakistan to de-escalate tensions across the Line of Control. Return of the Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan with honor to the Indian side within two days of his captivity on the Pakistani soil was a reflection of Pakistan’s resolve to lower the tension in the region, she remarked.

Canadian Deputy Foreign Minister, Ian Shugart expressed satisfaction at the historically cooperative ties with Pakistan and agreed to greater high level exchanges to give further impetus to the relationship. He appreciated Pakistan’s gestures to de-escalate the regional situation and reiterated Canadian government’s stance suggesting restraint and diplomatic engagement between Pakistan and India.

Islamabad
7 March 2019

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