Strong UAE-Pakistan Relations

  • 26 November 2008

Pakistani President Asef Ali Zardari's latest visit to the UAE and his meeting with President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is an important step toward buttressing the already advanced Emirati-Pakistani relations. President Zardari thanked the UAE and expressed his gratitude for its assistance to the Pakistani people in development and humanitarian matters. His statements were a reminder of the UAE's commitment to help Pakistan in facing its challenges, whether political, economic, or security-related. It is important to note that President Zardari's visit came only a few days after the meeting of "the Friends of Pakistan" group that was hosted in Abu Dhabi last November 14. The group was established in New York last September to help Pakistan and includes the UAE and a number of other western and Arab countries. The aim of the last meeting in Abu Dhabi was to help Pakistan in facing the effects of the financial crisis on its economy and ended with a number of important decisions.

A close examination of Emirati-Pakistani relations shows a multifaceted political orientation in the Emirates' thinking about the bilateral relationship. First, the Emirates stands by Pakistan in its fight against violence and terrorism, as it has done on numerous occasions. Second, the UAE is committed to assist the Pakistani economy in every way possible such as through bilateral trade and economic relations. Third, the Emirates is quick to offer humanitarian assistance in times of crises or disasters. Fourth, the Emirates supports Pakistan in ensuring security and political stability and in facing all such challenges.

The UAE operates from a conscious assessment of Pakistan's importance in the equation of regional security and stability in Asia since it is a nuclear power and plays an essential role in the war on terrorism. Pakistan's security, thus, is a regional goal and interest as much as it is an international objective many countries in the world are keen to achieve.

The UAE's care to support Pakistan and strengthen relations with her is reciprocated by continuous work on Islamabad's part to foster political and trade ties between the two countries. These ties help push bilateral relations forward and affirm their strategic and historic nature as they have been since the days of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may he rest in peace.