President emphasises robust trade with S Arabia

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday underscored the need for robust economic and trade relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for the mutual benefit of two brotherly countries.
The president expressed these views while talking to the Ambassador-designate of Pakistan to Saudi Arabia Ahmad Farooq, who called on him, at Aiwan-e-Sadr here. Talking to the ambassador-designate, the president stated that Pakistan attached special significance to its relations with Saudi Arabia, which were based on common faith, shared history and people-to-people contacts.
He highlighted that Pakistan wanted to further consolidate the existing bilateral ties into a strategic economic partnership for the mutual interest of the two countries. President Alvi asked the ambassador-designate to highlight the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and the persecution of Muslims in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) as well as other parts of India at various fora.
He asked the ambassador-designate to convey his warm regards to His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and the Saudi Crown Prince/Prime Minister, His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman. He also congratulated the ambassador on his appointment as Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia and expressed the confidence that he would do his best to further strengthen and enhance bilateral engagements at all levels in the interest of the two countries.
Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi has called for the implementation of the disability quota for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the public and private sector jobs to make PWDs financially independent. He said that almost 12-14% of Pakistan’s population suffered from some form of disability and the government and private sector needed to provide them employment for their financial empowerment. These views were expressed by him while speaking during a follow-up meeting on the framework for the classification of disabilities, at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Thursday. The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Human Rights and the Government of Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Arif Alvi said that disability quota should be implemented as per its actual spirit, adding that chambers of commerce and industries, banks, multi-national corporations, trade bodies, and other private sector organizations needed to employ differently-abled people (DAPs) as per their skill sets and nature of disabilities. He said that Pakistan must focus on providing DAPs with skill-based education to help them secure jobs and ensure their inclusion in the mainstream of socio-economic activities.
The President highlighted the need to develop close coordination among relevant stakeholders to impart skills to PWDs as per their special needs as well as market requirements. He underscored that training institutes and relevant government organizations should accelerate their efforts to equip PWDs with marketable skills and link them with potential employers in the private sector to provide them suitable jobs in accordance with their skills and quota.
President Alvi also urged the need to provide disability certificates to PWDs in a quick, easy and hassle-free manner enabling them to benefit from different schemes and facilities being offered by the government. Director General/ Secretary of the Council on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Mr Abdul Sattar, informed the meeting that CRPD in coordination with different federal ministries was working to ensure the implementation of the disability quota.