ISLAMABAD: Yusuf Raza Gillani, a Pakistani senator and former prime minister, expressed gratitude to the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for establishing a visa center in Karachi. The visa center is claimed to be the largest in Asia.
According to a statement from the UAE consulate in Karachi, Gillani acknowledged this development on Wednesday. The visa center, inaugurated in November 2021 and officially launched in April of this year, aims to enhance customer service and streamline the entry process for Pakistanis traveling to the UAE by utilizing electronic gates at the ports.
Pakistan has maintained strong diplomatic and defense ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) throughout its history. The UAE is home to a significant Pakistani community, with a population exceeding 1.5 million. Pakistani nationals constitute the second largest group of foreign residents in the UAE, accounting for 12.5 percent of the country’s total population.
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In 2022, Pakistani expatriates in the UAE sent an impressive $5.10 billion in remittances back to Pakistan, ranking second only to remittances from Saudi Arabia, which amounted to $6.67 billion the previous year.
According to a statement from the UAE consulate, Yusuf Raza Gillani made a special visit to the UAE visa center and commended the Emirati government’s efforts in facilitating job visas and providing other amenities for Pakistanis.
The former prime minister expressed his hope that the founder of the UAE’s affection for Pakistanis would continue to strengthen over time, as stated in the announcement. He also acknowledged the consul general in Karachi as an exceptional diplomat who genuinely cares for Pakistan.
During his visit to the consulate, Gilani received a warm welcome from the UAE’s Consul General Karachi, Bakheet Ateeq Al Remeithi, who reassured that the Emirati government and people would consistently support their Pakistani brethren.
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Depleting Economic Position and UAE Financing
In the face of a deteriorating economic crisis, Islamabad has turned to the UAE for assistance in obtaining external financing, a necessary step to meet the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to access crucial bailout funds.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, announced recently that the UAE has pledged a financial support of $1 billion to Pakistan.
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