Message on the occasion of 75th Indonesia’s Independence Day Anniversary
by Sajjad Haider Khan, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of Pakistan, Jakarta
On behalf of the people and the government of Pakistan, I wish to convey our warmest felicitations to government and brotherly people of Indonesia on the occasion of the 75th Independence Day of Indonesia.
Pakistan takes great pride in the fact that around 600 Muslim soldiers of present-day Pakistan, took part in the revolution of 1945 alongside Indonesian brothers, leading to Independence. While around 500 of these soldiers laid their lives and buried in Indonesian soil, a few families are still living in different parts of Indonesia as proud Indonesian nationals.
Our two countries enjoy deep rooted, friendly and brotherly relations based on our shared history, culture and religious commonalities as well as aspirations for global peace & stability. Exchange of high-level visits have been a regular feature of our relations. Indonesian President Widodo to Pakistan in January 2018. A number of Parliamentary delegations, defence delegations, other government officials and businessmen have also been interacting frequently.
Both countries have signed over three dozen Agreements and MOUs including cooperation mechanisms under Bilateral Consultative Forum, Policy Planning Dialogue, JWG on Terrorism, Defence Cooperation Agreement and Preferential Trade Agreement which provide the necessary foundation for expanding bilateral relations. Last year, the two sides have also agreed on a Framework for Security Dialogue encompassing a range of areas. First Security Dialogue is likely to be held by end of this year.
Pakistan is keen to further promote trade, investment and tourism. It is heartening to note that bilateral trade, people to people contact and government to government interaction between our two countries are expanding progressively. The bilateral trade figures touched its highest level of US$ 3 billion in 2018. Pakistan is among the top destinations for Indonesian Crude Palm Oil. Owing to hosts of issues including Covid-19, our trade has witnessed some decline in the past, we have to correct in the coming years through sustained efforts in the field of economic diplomacy.
Last year, Pakistan side extended a few scholarships to Indonesia in medicine, engineering and dentistry, under Pakistan technical Assistance Programme (PTAP). Likewise, scholarships to the Indonesian diplomats for Junior and Advanced Diplomatic Courses at the Foreign Service Academy, Islamabad are being offered regularly. The number of scholarships offered by Indonesian government is also increasing, with around 45 Pakistani students currently availing higher education in various Indonesian universities.
Besides trading in goods, we feel that services sectors particularly Tourism, and Information Technology (ICT) and educational collaboration are of great importance with immense potential for further cooperation. The two countries are endeavouring to bring the scientific community, higher education sector as well as the religious ulema closer for expanding ties. It is gratifying to see that Indonesian tourists have now started visiting Pakistan, likewise more and more Pakistanis are heading towards Indonesia for tourism.
I am positive that the existing excellent bilateral relations between our two countries will be further strengthened in the years ahead. (AK/RE1/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)