Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Nawaz Sharif was in Minsk, the capital city of the Republic of Belarus recently on a  first-ever high level three days official visit to the Republic of Belarus. This was a historic stopover from any leader from Pakistan since the inception of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

During his visit to the country, 18 significant Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) have been signed. The agreements signed were covering information, culture, education, scientific cooperation, information technology, forestry, and agriculture.

One MoU was also to declare Islamabad and Minsk as sister cities. As a gesture of goodwill Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was also conferred upon the title of honorary professor by Belarus State University. The visit was on a reciprocal basis as earlier on May 28-29, 2015 President of Belarus, Mr.Alexander Lukashenko was on a historic first-ever visit to Islamabad to extend the hands of cooperation with the brotherly country.

The presence of the Belarusian President was a watershed moment in the history of relations.  During the visit of the President of Belarus in July this year, a number of important agreements and MoUs were signed.

The agreements and MoUs during President Lukashenko’s visit were focused on agriculture machinery, tractor plant, milk, and the dairy industry. Overall 30 significant MoUs have been signed in various sectors between the countries to enhance partnerships. Such changing and emerging dynamics of contacts reflect the congeniality and urge to build a partnership on the basis of mutual trust, interest on the basis of which states build long-term plans for the development of the cooperation.

The credit should go to the dynamic and farsighted leadership of the President of Belarus, Mr.Lukashenko for taking bold steps in building partnerships and relations.  Both countries opened their mission quite recently as the Embassy of Belarus was opened in Islamabad in November last year while the Pakistani Mission was opened in July this year.

Pakistan and Belarus have agreed to initiate joint ventures in several areas including textiles, light mechanical engineering, petrochemicals, and wood-working as well as sharing technological expertise and scientific advantage for mutual benefits.

During the meetings, Belarus has also expressed to participate and invest in China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor Project. This would further boost the level of involvement and cooperation between the countries.  Pakistan has remained a longtime ally of Belarus. Since the independence of Belarus, Pakistan was one of the few of the first countries to accept the sovereignty and independence of Belarus.

Although geographically far away but both nations are closer to each other in every aspect. Pakistanis consider Belarus as a very important country in terms of education, investment, trade, and commerce. The reason and urge of the people have brought the two states more closer to each other to take steps in the directions of peace and cooperation. Both state-supported each other in every international and regional forum.

Pakistan and Belarus also agreed to continue cooperation for the UN reform process “in a manner that makes the world body more democratic, efficient and effective”.  There is a lot more room for creating lasting contacts with the parliamentarians of both countries also especially having friendship forums within the parliaments.

Most of the cooperation between the two countries is in the field of defense and related products along with strong ties in the economic sector. Pakistan is providing free-of-cost overhauling facilities to the tanks and other equipment of Belarus in Heavy Industries Complex Taxila. The rapid and swift development of relations is obvious from the fact that since the last whole year, there were several important headways have been achieved.

Like for instance, high-level visits, the establishment of Pakistan’s embassy in Belarus, the opening of Belarus diplomatic mission in Pakistan, one round of political consultation at the level of Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

Then there were sessions of the working group on agriculture, science, and technology commissions, and then the establishment and inauguration of the Belarusian-Pakistan Business Council are few of the steps which have been taken by the governments of both states in the right direction. The pace has been set and now the need is only to keep the movement and add momentum going on bilateral cooperation with “concrete content” and is done in a very short span of time.

Pakistan-Belarus Dosti Zindabad