Pakistan wants strong ties with France: President

By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday said Pakistan desired to strengthen economic cooperation with France, both at bilateral level and in context of European Union.
Talking to French Ambassador Marc Barety at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President stressed that there existed immense scope of investment in Pakistan due to its friendly policies.
President Alvi expressed satisfaction over the high-level contacts between the leadership of the two countries and also the parliamentary friendship groups which played an important role in strengthening bilateral relations. On India’s controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act bill, the President termed it a defacement of the proclaimed Indian secularism which had put minorities, especially Muslims, at a serious risk.
He emphasized that Occupied Kashmir was under complete lock-down, where all civic liberties of the Kashmiri people had been suspended, and they were being subjected to brutal molestation, lynching and imprisonment.
Taking stock of the bleak plight of Kashmiri people, he hoped that France would play its rightful role in alleviating the suffering of the Kashmiri people by urging India to stop human rights violations in Kashmir.
The President highlighted that 100,000 strong Pakistani diaspora in France was a bridge to promote people-to-people contacts. He also highlighted Pakistan’s huge tourism potential with rich culture, which he said must be tapped by the French people.
The President said Pakistan was one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, despite having a small carbon-footprint and stressed international collaboration to mitigate its serious consequences. On the Kashmir issue, the Ambassador said France had a clear policy that human rights must be protected at all costs.
He also said that climate change was a serious global issue and in this regard, France was offering special scholarships. He also emphasized the need for academic collaboration between Pakistani and French academicians and said that capacity-building of trainers was very important.