Mahathir’s Pakistan visit lands sign deals

Asad Umar stated that Malaysia is interested in purchasing JF-17 Thunder fighter jets, halal meat, rice and soon procure anti-tank missiles from Islamabad. In an informal discussion, these two countries have signed memorandum of understanding for 5 big projects. A one on one meeting was held by visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan.

In the event, officials of Mr Umar also agreed to open branches of their respective banks in other countries and learn from Malaysia’s knowledge to revive its tourism industry.

This three day visit by Malaysian’s Prime Minister is set for Pakistan to sign deals worth US$900 million (S$1.2 billion) in areas such as telecoms, information technology and power generation as stated by a senior official. Depletion of foreign reserves and widening current account deficit has set Pakistan facing an economic crisis making  Prime Minister Imran Khan who took the office last August to search for investments.

JF-17 which is amultirole combat aircraft is produced jointly with defence and aviation contractor Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and developed by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation. A report from South China Morning Post early this month stated Pakistan has about 110 has JF-17s and the defence forces of Nigeria and Myanmar also using the same aircraft. Prime Minister Khan stated at a press conference that he admired Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed for his stand against corruption. “We actually believe that countries are not poor, corruption makes them poor. Corruption destroys state institutions,” he said.

Dr Mahathir as quoted by BERNAMA stated that these two countries can exchange information on how to combat corruption as corruption is a concern. The 93-year-old Malaysian Prime Minister was awarded the Nishan-i-Pakistan, the country’s highest civil honour and also held a meeting with President Arif Alvi yesterday.

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