Pakistani PM Abbasi returns home

Published On: March 7, 2018 02:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Mar 7: Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi wrapped up his two-day official visit to Nepal and returned home on Tuesday.

Minister for Finance Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi and other senior officials bid farewell to Prime Minister Abbasi and his entourage at the VVIP lounge of the Tribhuvan International Airport. He was the first head of government to visit Nepal since Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was elected as the country's 38th prime minister. 

Before he flew back home on Tuesday, Prime Minister Abbasi paid a courtesy call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari at the latter's office. He congratulated President Bhandari for the successful completion of all tiers of elections and the formation of government under the federal setup, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

“Both sides expressed satisfaction over the excellent bilateral relations subsisting between the two countries and stressed the need of further enhancing cooperation in mutually beneficial areas,” the statement read.

After meeting the president, Prime Minister Abbasi visited SAARC Secretariat where he emphasized the need of convening the 19th SAARC Summit at the earliest. One of the main agenda of his visit was to seek Nepal's support for holding the SAARC Summit in Pakistan given Nepal's position as SAARC chair.   

He also underscored the importance of connectivity for regional integration and the role of SAARC in promoting the wellbeing and welfare of the people of the region. To commemorate the visit, he also planted a sapling at the SAARC Secretariat. Similarly, the Pakistani prime minister also met former prime minister and CPN (Maoist Center) chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leaders of the party on the last day of his visit. 

Upon his arrival in Kathmandu on Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Abbasi had held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. During the meeting, they had exchanged views on revitalizing the SAARC Summit in the spirit of the SAARC charter and also matters related to enhancing bilateral cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, tourism, agriculture and human resource development. 

Abbasi is the first Pakistani prime minister to visit Nepal on a purely bilateral visit since Benazir Bhutto visited Nepal in 1994. However, other Pakistani prime ministers have visited Nepal to attend SARRC summits in between.

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