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PROFILE

JOHN IVINSON

COLUMN FOR THE RECORD
POLITICS & POLICY 1- LOCAL BODIES CONVENTION
2-
PAK-INDONESIA RELATIONS

 

PAK-INDONESIA RELATIONS

 

Pakistan and Indonesia have always enjoyed excellent relations as the two peoples have deep historical and cultural ties

 


From SHAMIM AHMED RIZVI, Islamabad
Dec 22 - 28, 2003 

 

 

Pakistan and Indonesia have resolved to expand bilateral ties in all areas and to initiate the consultation process for preferential tariff agreement that would ultimately pave the way for a free trade agreement between the two countries.

This agreement was reached after 2 days of wide ranging extensive talks at the highest level between Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri and the President Pervez Musharraf and the Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali in Islamabad last week. The strong and high level delegation which accompanied the Indonesian President held discussion with their respective Pakistani counterparts and helped their leaders to reach the agreement in different areas to upgrade their relations.

The Indonesian President has assured President Musharraf that her country will strongly support Pakistan's entry in the ASEAN Economic Forum. She hoped that many other countries will also support the proposal and Pakistan will soon be a member of this regional economic alliance.

The two leaders also agreed to intensify and facilitate private sector collaboration. The Joint Ministerial commission and Pak Indonesia economic forum will be strengthened and made more active to achieve the objectives as the two leaders are desirous of building a comprehensive economic partnership between the two countries. Pakistan and Indonesia also agreed to cooperate closely in promoting enlightened moderation and further intensify their cooperation in combating terrorism.

A joint official statement issued on the occasion said, among other thing, while both sides expressed satisfaction on the excellent relation between Indonesia and Pakistan, they recognized the need to entrance their economic and commercial ties. Bilateral cooperation in other areas including defence, science and technology and banking sectors will also be enhanced.

The need for people to people contact, and exchange of students and close cooperation in the education also figured in the talks. Pakistan and Indonesia will also cooperate closely in promoting enlightened moderation of the Islamic and global plans and further intensify their cooperation in combating international terrorism.

 

 

Pakistan and Indonesia have always enjoyed excellent relations as the two peoples have deep historical and cultural ties. Pakistan recalls with a sense of satisfaction that Quaid-i-Azam had given unstinted support in men and material to Indonesia's founding father Dr. Ahmed Suoekarno during his struggle to win Indonesia's freedom. The support that Dr. Suokarno offered to Pakistan in 1965 war will ever remain a shining example of brotherly ties between the two countries. Megawati's visit to Islamabad has, in fact, an added significance since she is the daughter of Dr. Ahmed Suoekarno. The people of Pakistan hold her in high esteem both as President of a brotherly country and as daughter of a great friend of Pakistan. It's hoped that the ties between Pakistan and Indonesia will be further consolidated with her current visit. The desire expressed by leaders of the two countries for upgradation of their trade and economic ties will hopefully lead to further consolidation of relations between the two countries.

Pakistan is an emerging economy and has a strategic location. Its desire to become member of the ASEAN forum is natural. Pakistan's participation in the ASEAN will, in fact, add to its weight both economically and strategically and will expand its economic political influence in the region to the betterment of the people of the member states.

Pakistan also offers tremendous opportunities for expansion of ASEAN states' trade to the Central Asian countries with the completion of Gwadar Port next year.

President Megawati's statement about Indonesian and other countries support to Pakistan's admission is re-assuring and it is hoped that there will be no impediment in the way of Pakistan's full dialogue partnership as well as its membership of the Association now. Pakistan is bound to play the role of the hub for business, trade and economic expansion in the region with Gwadar Port. The ASEAN member nations stand to gain tremendously with Pakistan's membership.