Canada as­sists Pak­istan to em­power women

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL - STAFF RE­PORTER

KARACHI: The Cana­dian high Com­mis­sioner to Pak­istan, Ms. Heather Cru­den has high­lighted her coun­try’s co­op­er­a­tion and as­sis­tance to help Pak­istan in var­i­ous fields. She said, “Se­cu­rity and Cor­rup­tion are the two ma­jor con­cerns of Cana­dian com­pa­nies to in­vest in Pak­istan think­ing” while ad­dress­ing Karachi Coun­cil on For­eign Re­la­tions. Ms. Cru­den’s talk, on the topic of ‘Canada-Pak­istan re­la­tions.

She said, “Canada has long-stand­ing re­la­tions of over 60 years with Pak­istan which are al­ways de­fined by our devel­op­ment as­sis­tance to Pak­istan”, she said. Canada has ear­lier pro­vided aid to de­velop Pak­istan’s hy­dro projects. Now our fo­cus is on health, po­lio erad­i­ca­tion, hu­man rights and gen­der equal­ity.

“Canada’s aid to Pak­istan is con­sis­tent since past many years. Now its $50-60 mil­lion which is a sig­nif­i­cant amount”. “We have been work­ing with NGOs to up­lift the sta­tus of women and make them part of the work­force. We have to re­port our re­sults in Par­lia­ment” she added. “Our Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau is a big sup­porter of cli­mate change and we are en­cour­ag­ing Cana­dian com­pa­nies to work on re­new­able energy in Pak­istan”, she said.

Dis­cussing the non-tra­di­tional se­cu­rity threats to Pak­istan she men­tioned cli­mate change as Pak­istan is the tenth most vul­ner­a­ble coun­try to cli­mate change. In her opin­ion pop­u­la­tion ex­plo­sion is a ma­jor threat to Pak­istan and se­ri­ous mea­sures on child birth con­trol need to be taken. Gov­ern­ment is un­able to pro­vide ba­sic ser­vices to peo­ple such as ed­u­ca­tion, hous­ing, food and health etc.

Peo­ple don’t have many op­por­tu­ni­ties in Pak­istan which would be worst with the pop­u­la­tion ex­plo­sion. Com­par­ing the pop­u­la­tion of Pak­istan with Bangladesh – where Ms Cru­den has also served as High Com­mis­sioner – she told the au­di­ence that in 1971 Bangladesh’s pop­u­la­tion was more than Pak­istan but the sit­u­a­tion is op­po­site now. Bangladesh has sig­nif­i­cantly con­trolled its birth rate un­like Pak­istan.

Talk­ing about the new gov­ern­ment of Canada she said that our cabi­net is the most rep­re­sen­ta­tive abi­net as it in­cludes peo­ple of other na­tion­al­i­ties and phys­i­cally chal­lenged peo­ple. “We have strong peo­ple-to- peo­ple con­tact and they are rich part of Cana­dian fab­ric. We pride our­selves in in­te­grat­ing im­mi­grants. We have just ac­cepted 30,000 Syr­ian refugees”, she said.

In his open­ing re­marks, for­mer Am­bas­sador Shahid Amin, Chair­man, Karachi Coun­cill on For­eign Re­la­tions said “there are no bi­lat­eral prob­lems be­tween Canada and Pak­istan”. He re­called that when Kash­mir is­sue was brought in the United Na­tions, Canada sup­ported the de­ci­sion of plebiscite in Kash­mir.

He men­tioned that two years back Cana­dian For­eign Min­is­ter said that “Canada is con­cerned about hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion in Kash­mir”. He told the au­di­ence that Canada is help­ing Pak­istan in nat­u­ral calami­ties and so­cio-eco­nomic sec­tor which peo­ple of Pak­istan ap­pre­ci­ate. “Canada has also helped Pak­istan to es­tab­lish its first nu­clear power plant KANUPP in Karachi and also Warsak dam”, he added.

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