BY AJMAL KHAN YOUSAFZAI
ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi on Wednesday appreciated the Cuban scholarship programme for the Pakistani medical students offered after the October 2005 earthquake. He noted that the doctors, after graduating from Cuba, were playing a significant role in the health sector of Pakistan. The President was talking to Vice President of Cuba, Roberto Morales Odeja, who called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
He said that the decades’ old friendship between Pakistan and Cuba was based on the shared ideals of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, peaceful co-existence, equality and mutual benefit.
The President also apprised the Cuban dignitary on the precarious situation in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of unilateral and illegal steps by India to alter the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir. Vice President of Cuba, Roberto Morales Odeja was on 3-day visit to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday underlined the need to 10 enhancing economic cooperation and people to people exchanges between Pakistan and Cuba in order to deepen and strengthen the bilateral ties.
He expressed these views during the wide-ranging talks with Vice President of Cuba Roberto Morales Odeja along with his delegation here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Cuban delegation is on a three-day bilateral visit to Islamabad, a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
\here said. The Foreign Minister highlighted the excellent bilateral relations between Pakistan and Cuba. He reiterated Pakistan’s gratitude for the generous and unprecedented support offered by Cuba after the October 2005 earthquake. He added that there was enormous potential for Pakistan and Cuba to enhance cooperation in the health and agricultural sectors.
Appreciating the Cuban advancement in the field of bio-technology, the Foreign Minister proposed collaboration in research and development for production of life saving vaccines. The Foreign Minister also briefed the Cuban delegation on India’s unilateral and illegal actions of August 5, in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. While highlighting the ongoing sufferings of the innocent people, he encouraged Cuba to raise its voice against the human rights violations in IOJ&K. The Foreign Minister also offered training opportunities for Cuban diplomats at Pakistan’s Foreign Service Academy, Islamabad. After the meeting, Pakistan and Cuba signed the agreement on the exemption from visa requirement for diplomatic and official passport holders.