Pakistan calls for revival of Zimbabwe relations

By Tichaona Zindoga

Pakistan Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Murad Baseer has called for the revival of relations between the two countries and rekindle friendship that existed before and immediately after Zimbabwe’s Independence in 1980.

 Pakistan was among the supporters of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, and quickly established diplomatic relations with the newly-independent nation.

Further cooperation between the two countries was made in the fields of defence and security, health, trade and human resource training but this dramatically declined post-2000 with the two countries mired in domestic issues. Pakistan had no representative in Harare for four years until the envoy came in 2022.

Now, Ambassador Baseer says it is time to reset the relations back to the “Golden Era”.

In an editorial published in the State media on the eve of Zimbabwe’s Independence, Ambassador Baseer revealed that the two countries would chart a new course, with Zimbabwe opening an Embassy in Islamabad later this year.

“I believe that the year 2023 therefore can be termed as the ‘Year of Revival of bilateral relations’ between Pakistan and Zimbabwe,” Ambassador Baseer wrote.

“I congratulate the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Government on taking this initiative to re-engage with old friends like Pakistan and re-initiate bilateral co-operation with focus on bilateral trade and commerce,” he said.

There is immense potential for Pakistani products in Zimbabwe, the envoy said, and these include tractors and agri-machinery, pharmaceuticals, autoparts, mobile phone industry, textiles, electrical pumps and generators, chemicals and paints, and so on.

Pakistan is seeking to increase cooperation with Zimbabwe within the framework of its “Engage Africa” policy.

Pakistan is eyeing to benefit from Zimbabwe’s raw materials and minerals.

In 2021-22, Pakistan’s exports to Zimbabwe were US$9.58 million while Zimbabwe sent goods worth US$21.58 million to Pakistan.

Ambassador Baseer said the current trade statistics did not “justify the true potential of economic cooperation between the two countries”.

“All that is required is a concerted effort to create business opportunities,” said he.

Pakistan has a sizeable diaspora community in Zimbabwe.

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