Muscat, Jan 30 – Omanis travelling to Pakistan will now get visas on arrival, said Pakistan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The minister, who is on a three-day visit to the Sultanate, said Pakistan has liberalised its visa rules, which means Omani citizens can get their visas stamped on their arrival in Pakistan.
Qureshi met Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, and on the second day received by General Sultan bin Mohammed al Numani, Minister of the Royal Office.
The foreign minister of Pakistan said the objective of the visit was to participate in the seventh Joint Ministerial Committee meeting, which is taking place after a considerable gap.
When he met Alawi on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly, we decided to meet in Muscat to revive the process.
“Relations with Oman have been warm and cordial. Through this interaction, we want to strengthen it further. We want to turn the strategic partnership into an economic partnership.”
According to the minister, there are opportunities where Pakistan can contribute to Oman’s food security, while the Sultanate can invest in Pakistan’s food processing industries.
“There are opportunities for Oman to invest in the special economic zones being developed in Pakistan-China Economic Corridor.”
He said there are possible opportunities to invest in the energy sector, construction and tourism also.
Pakistan is looking at better connectivity with Oman, and Duqm could play a key role along with the Gwadar port in Pakistan. “I think these two ports working in close harmony can enhance connectivity.”
Other fields of cooperation being explored are education and health. The minister is leading a 12-member delegation of technical experts representing different sectors.
The joint ministerial committee will meet on Thursday, followed by signing of bilateral accords.
A total of 272,000 Pakistani expats live in Oman. A community event was held for them at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.
The event showcased colourful performances by schoolchildren from Pakistan School Muscat and Beacon House.
More than 50 Omanis and Pakistanis as well as other nationalities were presented with ‘Certificates of Appreciation’ for their contribution to Pakistan-Oman friendship.