- Pakistan seeks Swiss cooperation in getting advanced warning system.
- Islamabad wants to further expand bilateral ties with Switzerland: PM Shehbaz.
- Swiss minister says Pakistan rich in cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes.
Pakistan and Switzerland inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) on disaster management to foster cooperation between the two countries to harness technology and expertise in future to jointly tackle any natural catastrophe.
Addressing the MoU signing ceremony in Nathiagali on Saturday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that they looked forward for the Swiss cooperation in terms of getting an advanced warning system and other gadgets to secure Pakistan as much as possible from natural disasters.
He reiterated that Pakistan was facing the impacts of global climate change, despite the fact that the country had very little carbon footprints.
The prime minister said Islamabad wanted to further expand bilateral ties with Switzerland in diverse fields including the tourism sector as Pakistan was blessed with natural beauty.
Appreciating the Swiss foreign minister’s remarks about peace in the region, the prime minister said that it was important to maintain peace in this part of the world and that Switzerland could play the role of catalyst to promote peace in the region.
He said that Pakistan liked to promote progress, and prosperity, eradicate unemployment, and poverty, and enhance education, IT, industry, women empowerment, and agriculture for the well-being of the people.
The other side, he said, should also realise it. Pakistan cannot afford tensions in the region nor would it like to waste its resources, they must commit their resources to the development of the country, he stressed.
The prime minister reiterated that there could be no lasting peace in this part of the world till their issues including Kashmir were resolved.
Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis said that signing the MoU between the two countries was vital for collaboration against climate change.
He said Pakistan was rich in cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes, but it had become prone to natural disasters, resulting in last year’s floods, displacement of people with wide destruction.
The Swiss minister said these disasters required an urgent need for international cooperation to mitigate the risks associated with the natural catastrophes.
Extending his government’s cooperation in this regard, he reaffirmed to further strengthen the bilateral ties and to pool their resources in this field.
He further highlighted the joint efforts between the two countries during the years 2010 and 2022 when the devastating floods struck Pakistan, adding the Swiss government swiftly provided emergency aid and supported the affected people.
The foreign minister further said that they were ready to embark on the new challenges in the field of disaster management which went beyond the borders and stressed that these required global unity and collateral efforts.
Earlier, the prime minister witnessed the signing of the MoU between the two countries by the visiting Swiss foreign minister and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Inam Haider Malik to cooperate in the field of natural disasters. Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman, ministers, and relevant authorities were present on the occasion.
The document between the two countries will also prove as a milestone in bringing the NDMA at par with the international standards under the vision of the prime minister.
It will also help promote cooperation between Pakistan and Switzerland in forecasting natural disasters, their impacts, swift response and rehabilitation measures.