Mahathir, Pakistan's Khan discuss anti-graft, tourism

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (left) and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan inspecting a guard of honour at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya, Malaysia, yesterday. Mr Khan, whose two-day visit ended yesterday, was on his first vis
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (left) and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan inspecting a guard of honour at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya, Malaysia, yesterday. Mr Khan, whose two-day visit ended yesterday, was on his first visit to Malaysia since becoming prime minister in August.PHOTO: REUTERS
Mr Khan and Dr Mahathir looking on as Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Malaysian Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin signed documents during a ceremony yesterday.
Mr Khan and Dr Mahathir looking on as Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Malaysian Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin signed documents during a ceremony yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PUTRAJAYA • Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad met his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan yesterday as the two leaders pledged cooperation.

At a press conference following a brief meeting, the two leaders said they discussed several topics of mutual interest, especially anti-corruption and tourism.

"We have had a long relationship. We have some similar problems and we will continue dialogue to discuss solutions. We discussed foreign direct investments, privatisation, tourism and food," Dr Mahathir said.

Dr Mahathir also said that Mr Khan had sought his help in making Pakistan a dialogue partner with Asean and the two countries would continue their mutual defence cooperation.

In Mr Khan's first visit to Malaysia since becoming prime minister in August, he said he was eager to learn of Malaysia's efforts at combating corruption. "Both of us are in similar situations as we both came to power on an anti-corruption platform with high national debt," said Mr Khan, whose two-day visit ended yesterday.

He also said Pakistan is keen to develop its potential for tourism and looked to Malaysia for help with developing tourist resorts.

"We have many tourist spots but not many resorts. We want to learn from your experience to raise our own gross domestic product and our per capita income."

In a joint statement released after the press conference, the two leaders welcomed the establishment of bilateral consultation between the senior officials of both ministries of foreign affairs as the mechanism to intensify engagements between both sides.

Malaysia also invited Pakistani firms to invest there in the manufacturing and services sectors where they are able to leverage Malaysia's strategic location in expanding their investments into Asean and the Asia-Pacific regions.

In response, Pakistan invited Malaysian firms to explore the possibility of investing in special economic zones to take advantage of Pakistan's strategic location at the crossroads of Central, South and West Asia.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2018, with the headline 'Mahathir, Pakistan's Khan discuss anti-graft, tourism'. Print Edition | Subscribe