The official visit of the Prime Minister of
Singapore, Goh Chock Tong, along-with a strong delegation, to Pakistan
last week is being viewed as highly important development as it has laid
down institution parameters for a sustained development and closer
cooperation between the two counties in many fields. It has led to a
qualitative upgrading in relations of the two countries.
Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and his
counterpart from Singapore held sustained talks covering all aspects of
bilateral relations — not only in economics and commercial fields, but
also in political, cultural, academic, scientific development, fight
against terrorism, information technology, defense and other spheres of
international cooperation. The two countries reaffirmed to combating
terrorism and other transnational crime in a comprehensive manner. The
two countries agreed to enhance counter terrorism cooperation between
the officials dealing with security and intelligence in their respective
The Prime Minister of Singapore offered to open
negotiation with Pakistan from a free trade agreement, which was highly
appreciated by Prime Minister Jamali who invited investors from
Singapore to avail highly lucrative investment opportunities available
in Pakistan in the wide ranging sector of industry, services,
agriculture, livestock and communication. Jamali proposed joint venture
for this purpose and the same was welcomed by Goh Tong.
The over an hour-long meeting between the two
delegations discussed the regional situation in South Asia, Afghanistan,
North Korea and Iraq. The Prime Minister of Singapore appreciated the
steps taken to open talks between Pakistan and India and emphasized the
need for "sustained efforts for resolution of all disputes".
Greater cooperation between Saarc and Asean countries was also discussed
and emphasized by both sides. Both agreed the need to have a regular
political consultation between the two foreign ministers and a
Memorandum of Understanding was singed to this effect between the two
foreign secretaries. The declaration signed at the ministerial level
envisages directions in building bilateral relations with an eye to
future, the official said.
The Pakistan side included Finance Minister Shaukat
Aziz, Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat, Minister for Commerce
Humayun Akhtar and Minister for Information and Technology Awais Leghari,
Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar.
Following is the text of the joint declaration:
"The Government of the Islamic Republic of
Pakistan and the Government of the Republic of Singapore desirous for
further strengthening their close cooperative ties and friendship
between their peoples, have agreed as follows:-
1) The Islamic
Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Singapore value highly their
mutually beneficial cooperation, which has been strengthening and
broadening at the strategic, political, economic and cultural planes.
2) At the
strategic and political levels, both countries shall make every effort
to further develop their relations and multi-faced cooperation for the
common benefit of the two countries.
In this regard each side shall be guided by
applicable principles of international law as well as traditions of
friendly relations between their two countries, and furthermore, on the
basis of mutual respect of national sovereignty, non-interference in
each other's internal affairs and equality as well as the basis of
respect for human rights and democratic principles of each country.
3) The Islamic
Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Singapore shall cooperative in
maintaining peace and stability in South East Asia, South Asia and other
regions of the world, and the promotion and preservation of
They reaffirm their commitment to implement the
purpose and principles of the United Nations Charter and to contribute
to the strengthening of the peacekeeping and peacemaking role of the
United Nations and also to the peaceful settlement of conflict and
4) The Islamic
Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Singapore shall strengthening
mechanism of mutual consultation and cooperation by instituting regular
working level consultations alternately in their respective capital
between their respective foreign ministers.
5) The Islamic
Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Singapore underlined the
importance of international cooperation in the fight against terrorism,
and reaffirmed their countries commitment to combating terrorism and
other transactional crimes in a comprehensive manner.
The two countries agreed to enhance counter-terrorism
cooperation between the officials dealing with security and intelligence
and law-enforcement agencies in their respective capital.
trade, including direct trade, and in this context launched,
negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement toward the end of 2004.
joint ventures and promote closer cooperation between the private
sectors of both countries.
develop and conclude arrangements for mutually beneficial cooperation in
the fields of Information Technology and Telecommunication.
cooperation in the field of defense through internationals and exchanges
between the relevant ministers.
and promote activities and programmes to enhance people-to-people and
cultural contacts, institute student exchanges, facilitate collaboration
among academic intuitions.
cooperation in Science and Technology through sharing of information and
expertise, joint research on sectors of common interest, and to jointly
organize seminars bringing together senior scientists of both side.
Singapore's spectacular economic and industrial
development is indeed an example for Pakistan to emulate. In particular,
Singapore's policies that successfully attracted foreign investors, can
serve as a guideline for Pakistan which is also making stupendous
efforts to invite private foreign investment. Almost all the leading
names among the multinational companies in the world are stated to have
made investment in Singapore in wide ranging manufacturing fields.