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Imran, Mahathir pledge to combat Islamophobia

Pak-Malays­ian premie­rs vow to boost econom­ic ties, streng­then bilate­ral relati­ons
DNA
ISLAMABAD
Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Malaysian counterpart have agreed to combat corruption and negative perceptions surrounding Muslims.
“There is a feeling of fear and enmity towards Muslims across the world,” said Mahathir Mohamad, the prime minister of Malaysia, while addressing a joint press conference with PM Khan on Friday.
“The feeling of hatred is generated by the way things are reported in the media,” he remarked. “We can not always win by fighting back. In Malaysia, we believe in winning peoples’ hearts.”
We have to improve the perception of the Muslim world, he said. We need to reduce the atmosphere of hatred towards Muslims, he remarked while speaking about a terrorist killing 50 people after opening fire on two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch last week.
Mahathir Mohamad is a Muslim statesman who changed his country, remarked PM Khan. “We admire you for that. We admire you for taking a stand on issues that affect the Muslim world. Very few leaders take a stand on them.”
The Muslim world is suffering from many problems, such as the war on terrorism and Islamophobia, among others, he said.
It is sad that not a single Muslim country is considered ‘developed’, said the Malaysian PM. “Malaysia hopes to become a ‘developed’ country by 2025. All Muslim countries must strive to develop themselves too.”
Corruption
Imran Khan said that Pakistan admires the way the Malaysian PM combatted corruption and helped the country progress. “People aren’t poor, corruption makes them poor,” he said.
Everything costs more when there is corruption, said PM Mohamed. “We are concerned about corruption too. We must exchange information on how to combat corruption.”
Trade
The Malaysian PM expressed the desire to increase trade with Pakistan. “We have identified many areas where we can enhance our relationship with Pakistan. If we increase trade, it will benefit us both a lot,” he said. “We are happy to renew our relations with Pakistan.”
He was presented with a guard of honour upon his arrival to PM House Friday morning. He was accompanied by PM Khan and Finance Minister Asad Umar.
PM Mohamad arrived in Pakistan for a three-day visit on Thursday night. He was given a 21-gun salute on his arrival. The Malaysian PM is visiting on invitation of PM Khan. He will attend the Pakistan Day parade on March 23 as the chief guest.



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