Alvi emphasises enhanced Trade, edu co-op with Senegal

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday underlined the need for enhanced cooperation with Senegal in the areas of trade, economy, and education.
The president, talking to Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to Senegal, Saima Sayed, who called on him here, said that both countries had great potential to increase bilateral trade and economic relations for the mutual benefits of the two sides.
He said that Pakistan considered Senegal as an important country in the West African region, and asked the ambassador to make concerted efforts towards further expanding the bilateral ties. He urged the ambassador to work on arranging bilateral exchanges at the ministerial level between the two countries. The president expressed satisfaction over the participation of Pakistani businessmen in Trade Fairs (Dakar International Trade Fair-FIKDAK) in Dakar for many years,. Such exhibitions would help in further promoting trade relations between the two countries.
President Alvi asked the ambassador-designate to arrange more trade exhibitions in collaboration with the concerned ministries to boost bilateral trade volume.
He called for increased cooperation between Pakistan and Senegal in the area of education.
He said that 8000 foreign students were currently enrolled in different programmes of the Virtual University of Pakistan (VU), and Senegalese students could also benefit from the online and distance education being offered by VU and Allama Iqbal Open University.
President Alvi also asked Saima Sayed to highlight India’s anti-minority and anti-Muslim policies as well as the reign of terror unleashed by her against the innocent people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir for over seven decades.
Meanwhile, President also called for bringing attitudinal change in society towards family planning to advance reproductive health and effectively manage the growing population in Pakistan. He said the rapid population growth was placing tremendous strain on the national resources, and family planning was the key intervention to check the increasing population growth.
The president expressed these views while talking to Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Luay Shabaneh, who called on him, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, President Secretariat Press Wing said in a press release. The president said that religious scholars, media, and opinion leaders could help bring positive behavioural changes in society by supporting family planning processes in the country.
He said that national religious scholars and media were needed to raise awareness about family planning by educating the people. He emphasized that all stakeholders should make coordinated efforts to promote family planning and better family health as basic human rights of married couples.
The president highlighted that 50% of pregnancies in Pakistan, out of 9 million, were unwanted due to the unmet need of its population for family planning products and services.
He underscored the need for taking measures to improve the health and nutrition of its people, especially maternal and reproductive health, reducing the maternal and infant mortality rate, and stunting and malnutrition. He called for taking effective measures by the provincial governments, civil society, NGOs, media organizations, religious scholars, and relevant government departments and agencies to advance the agenda of family planning and better health in the country. Dr Luay Shabaneh briefed the president about the role of UNFPA in the promotion of family planning services in Pakistan.
He informed that UNFPA had been a lead organization which supported all the demographic and health surveys conducted in Pakistan so far, besides supporting country’s efforts towards the accelerated delivery and accessibility of high-quality family planning information and services.