Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Pakistan, Sajjad Haider Khan delivered the statement in Jakarta, Monday.
"On behalf of the people and government of Pakistan, I wish to convey our warmest felicitations to the government and our brothers of Indonesia on the occasion of the 75th Independence Day of Indonesia," Khan stated.
Pakistan takes immense pride in the fact that some 600 Muslim soldiers of present-day Pakistan took part in the revolution of 1945 alongside their Indonesian brothers that lead to independence. Some 500 of these soldiers laid down their lives to this cause and were buried in Indonesian soil, while 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 visited Pakistan in January 2018, while several parliamentary and defense delegations, other government officials, and businessmen have also been interacting frequently," Khan pointed out.
Both countries have inked over three dozen agreements and memoranda of cooperation, including cooperation mechanisms under the Bilateral Consultative Forum, Policy Planning Dialogue, JWG on Terrorism, Defense Cooperation Agreement, and Preferential Trade Agreement that offer the requisite foundation for intensifying bilateral relations.
Last year, both sides had also agreed on a Framework for Security Dialogue encompassing a range of areas. The First Security Dialogue is likely to be held by the end of this year.
Khan affirmed that Pakistan is keen to further promote trade, investment, and tourism. It is heartening to note that bilateral trade, people-to-people contacts, and government-to-government interactions between both countries are expanding progressively.
"The bilateral trade figures touched the highest level of US$3 billion in 2018. Pakistan is among the top destinations for Indonesian Crude Palm Oil. In the wake of several issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, our trade has witnessed some decline in the past. We have to correct such problems in the coming years through sustained efforts in the field of economic diplomacy," he stated.
Last year, the Pakistan side had extended some scholarships to Indonesia in the areas of medicine, engineering, and dentistry, under the Pakistan Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP). Likewise, scholarships to Indonesian diplomats for Junior and Advanced Diplomatic Courses at the Foreign Service Academy, Islamabad, are being offered on a regular basis. The number of scholarships offered by the Indonesian government is also increasing, with some 45 Pakistani students currently availing higher education at various Indonesian universities.
Apart from trading in goods, we feel that the services sectors, particularly tourism and Information Technology (ICT), as well as educational collaboration are of critical importance, with huge potential for further cooperation, Khan stated.
Both nations are endeavoring to bring together the scientific community, higher education sector, as well as religious ulemas in a bid to intensify ties. It is gratifying to witness Indonesian tourists currently undertaking visits to Pakistan, and likewise, increasingly more number of Pakistanis are visiting Indonesia for tourism.
"I am positive that the existing sound bilateral relations between our two countries will be further strengthened in the years ahead," he added.
Related news: Giant White and Red flag hoisted in Indonesia-Malaysia border area
Related news: Over 10,000 climbers to commemorate Independence Day on Mt Bawakaraeng
Related news: Pandemic to not dampen spirit of Indonesia's Anniversary commemoration