A four member parliamentary delegation headed by Convener of Pakistan-France Friendship Group and Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production Senator Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum paid a three-day official visit to France from January 16 to 18 on the invitation of President of Pakistan-France Friendship Group in French Senate Senator Pascal Allizard.
Senator Muhammad Saleh Shah from Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Senator Muhammad Usman Kakar from Balochistan and Senator Baz Muhammad Khan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were other members of the delegation, a press release Thursday said.
During its stay in Paris, the delegation met President of French Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense Christian Cambon, President of Pakistan-France Friendship Group in French National Assembly Jean-Bernard Sempastous and President of Pakistan-France Business Council Thierry Pflimlin.
It also received briefings at French ministries of defence and foreign affairs and also visited French state Railways SNCF. During the meetings, Senator Abdul Qayyum said Pakistan attached great importance to its relation with France being a key European country and stressed the need to further cement and expand the existing bilateral relations in the fields of commerce, trade and investments, scientific research, energy, environment, education and culture.
“We encouraged more official exchanges, ministerial visits leading to the visit of French prime minister and president to Pakistan,” he said.
He briefed his French counterparts about Pakistan’s efforts in curbing terrorism.
He said the Pakistani nation through unprecedented sacrifices had defeated the forces of terrorism and extremism, and today Pakistan was on the path of peace and development with an impressive growth rate, infrastructure development and improvement of social sector.
Senators also briefed their French counterparts about the situation in South Asia, in particular the human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir.
They urged France, being a permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, to play its role for bringing peace and stability in South Asia and for resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with United Nation Security Council Resolutions.
The delegation also visited MEDEF and was received by M. Thierry Pflimlin who briefed the senators about the current state of business relations between Pakistan and France.
He said there was a renewed interest amongst French companies due to impressive economic growth and numerous investment opportunities in Pakistan.
During the meetings, both sides underlined the importance on parliamentary exchanges. It was noted that recent visits of parliamentary delegations from French to Pakistan in December last year had proved immensely beneficial to further strengthen and consolidate the existing parliamentary relations. Such visits provide a useful opportunity for better understanding of issues through open and candid dialogue.
The delegation also attended a session of the French Senate and took a deep interest in its proceedings.