*ISLAMABAD: Canadian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ian Shugart on Thursday called Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and appreciated Pakistan’s gestures to de-escalate the regional situation.*
The Foreign Office said the foreign secretary held an hour long telephonic conversation with her Canadian counterpart. They exchanged views on key issues in bilateral relations and the regional situation.
Tehmina Janjua was scheduled to travel to Ottawa for the next round of Pak-Canada Bilateral Political Consultations on March 7 but the visit was postponed because of the prevailing security situation.
The two sides took stock of the key areas of bilateral interest including enhancing political engagement, exploring avenues of economic cooperation, bilateral trade and consular matters.
The foreign secretary informed Shugart on the government’s priority to facilitate foreign investors and invited Canadian businesses to explore the huge potential of the Pakistani market. Challenges to Pakistani nationals for obtaining Canadian visas were also discussed, said the FO.
Janjua availed the opportunity to brief her Canadian counterpart on the ongoing situation between Pakistan and India. She underscored Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability in the region and highlighted the repeated overtures by Prime Minister Imran Khan to de-escalate tensions across the Line of Control (LoC).
“Return of the Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan with honour to the Indian side within two days of his captivity on the Pakistani soil was a reflection of Pakistan’s resolve to lower the tension in the region,” she remarked.
Ian Shugart expressed satisfaction at the historically cooperative ties with Pakistan and agreed to greater high level exchanges to give further impetus to the relationship.