Malaysia, Pakistan pledge to work closely on Islamic issues

Dr Mahathir Mohamad meeting his Pakistan counterpart, Imran Khan.

ISLAMABAD: Malaysia and Pakistan have reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate more closely on issues affecting the Muslim world, including taking joint efforts in underscoring Muslims’ sensitivities on religious personalities and beliefs.

In a joint statement in conjunction with the prime minister’s three-day official visit to Pakistan, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his Pakistan counterpart, Imran Khan, agreed to increase their collaborative efforts to uphold the true values of Islam in international forums while strengthening the solidarity of the Muslim ummah (community).

They also stressed that terrorism cannot be associated with any religion or belief.

“Both leaders exchanged views on the situation in Palestine and in Rakhine State, Myanmar, involving Rohingya Muslims.

“On the Palestinian issue, they agreed to contribute positively in other forums, especially in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Committee of Six on Palestine, of which Malaysia and Pakistan are members,” the statement said.

It said Malaysia took note of the massive counter-terrorism efforts that Pakistan had successfully undertaken to eliminate terrorism.

Malaysia also invited Pakistan to take part in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima) from next Tuesday to Saturday.

The statement said the two leaders noted the successful conclusion of the 1st bilateral consultations between Pakistan’s foreign secretary and Malaysia’s secretary-general of the foreign affairs ministry held here on Feb 25.

“The 1st bilateral consultations had covered various issues of mutual concerns such as debt management and anti-corruption, defence cooperation, labour and consular matters as well as regional and international dynamics,” it said.

Both leaders also acknowledged the successful convening of the 13th Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation (JCDC) in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 26 and 27.

Today, Mahathir, who has been here since Thursday at the invitation of Imran, will be the guest-of-honour at the Pakistan Day parade.

The two leaders held discussions covering a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, the statement said.

“The Malaysian prime minister expressed his sincere appreciation to the President of Pakistan Arif Alwi for hosting a state banquet and bestowing him with the Nishan-e-Pakistan (Order of Pakistan), Pakistan’s highest civil award,” it added.