UAE ambassador to Pakistan pays rich tribute to Pakistani community on 48th National Day.
A close friend in Emaar Properties (the developers behind Burj Khalifa) disclosed to me that upon the completion of Burj Khalifa in 2009, I gazed on top of the Burj where I saw a Pakistani worker waving joyfully after finalizing his work on the tallest skyscraper of the world, thus, this story is reflecting the pivotal role played by our skillful Pakistani brothers in structural and economic development witnessed by UAE during the past five decades.
This reminded me of my first childhood visit to my family doctor – a proficient Pakistani physician – along with my mother, who impressed me with his friendly nature and curative treatment, since then I have been meeting many Pakistani brothers sharing their precious expertise in the contribution towards the development and prosperity of UAE.
Earlier this year, in a meeting with the honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan, His Excellency Imran Khan at the PM House in Islamabad, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, told PM Khan that when he was 5 year old (in around 1966) he was accompanying the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in his private visit to Pakistan, and believed that there were only two countries in world, UAE and Pakistan. This anecdote revealed the late founding father’s affinity for Pakistan and how it was his preferred family destination for a number of reasons.
The historical and cultural bonds between the brotherly people of UAE and Islamic Republic of Pakistan goes back many years.
The shores on both sides of the Arabian Sea – its deserts and weather conditions shaped a similar culture and common destiny for both nations, the ancient history reveals many intracultural and trade exchanges and travels. In recent history, the late Sheikh Zayed considered Pakistan as his second home, and even before the establishment of UAE he visited Pakistan many times along with other Sheikhs and companions.
These interactions resulted in Pakistan being the first country to recognise UAE as a nation in 1971 – eventually the Pakistani diaspora playing an important role in establishing and developing many institutions in UAE.
Emirates, which is one of the world’s leading airlines, is a shining example of the diaspora’s role in UAE, as PIA provided technical and administrative assistance to the new carrier and leased Emirates a new Boeing 737-300 and an Airbus A300B4-200. I was delighted to receive – in my office last month – Capt. Rtd. Fazl Ghani Mian, the pilot who lead the inaugural Emirates flight from Dubai to Karachi on October 25, 1985.
The talented people of Pakistan have also been involved in training the UAE military, banking sectors, infrastructure development, transport and many other essential fields, carving prominent lines in the beautiful and prosperous picture of my beloved homeland.
Pakistanis remain a pivotal contributor in UAE’s development with 1.6 million of them living in peace and harmony as the second largest expat community in the country. They are involved in the country’s business, investment and services sectors. The UAE-based Pakistani community also contributes to Pakistan’s economy as they are considered the second largest source of remittances to Pakistan for many years, according to financial sources.
These contributions have further helped in evolving close UAE- Pakistan relations. Consequently, the UAE once became the largest foreign direct investment country with its huge investments in the fields of oil refinery, telecommunication, banking, aviation and property development. Meanwhile UAE remains committed to assist the Pakistan in its economic stability and human development plans.
Besides its financial assistance to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the UAE has also established many humanitarian and development programs for the brotherly people of Pakistan – building many land mark hospitals, colleges, schools, roads, bridges, airports, housing projects, water supply schemes and many seasonal and emergency relief programs in various provinces and areas of Pakistan.