Governor General Lt Gen Sir Jerry Mateparae has praised the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for its role in fighting terrorism.
Accepting the credentials of Zehra Akbari, who has recently been appointed as the High Commissioner based in the Capital, he said, “New Zealand acknowledges the important role being played by Pakistan in international efforts to combat terrorism. We wholeheartedly support comprehensive, multi–faceted and long term approaches to countering terrorism,” he said.
Mrs Akbari said that her country enjoys friendly and cordial relations with New Zealand and that both have been long-standing members of the UN, the World Trade Organisation and other international forums and conferences.
“Cricket is another binding factor and our links in this field dates back to 1955. We value our relations with New Zealand, which we consider as an important country in the Asia-Pacific region. We are pleased that both countries have established institutional mechanisms to promote their political and economic ties,” she said.
Mrs Akbar said that Pakistan and New Zealand are focusing on development of relations in trade and commerce, education and agriculture.
“These are areas in which tangible results could be achieved in reasonable time. The two countries are endeavouring to encourage and facilitate development of industrial, agricultural and commercial cooperation between enterprises and private sectors of the two countries. The increasing numbers of Pakistani students studying in various educational institutions in New Zealand is improving cultural exchange,” she said.
Bilateral trade between Pakistan and New Zealand is small. According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the two-way trade between the two countries is less than $160 million, with exports accounting for $80 million and imports recorded at $57 million as at the end of April 2012.
A career diplomat, Mrs Akbari has worked at Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry in Islamabad and has done tours of duty in her country’s diplomatic missions in Washington DC (US), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Warsaw (Poland) and Dublin (Ireland).
She was Pakistan’s Ambassador to Mexico, with simultaneous accreditation to Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Prior to her appointment as the High Commissioner to New Zealand, Mrs Akbari was the Director General (South Asia & SAARC at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad.
She is married to Syed Sarwar Hussain Akbari and has a son.
The credentials ceremony was attended by officials of the two governments, The picture here shows (from left) Conservation and Housing Minister Nick Smith, Lady Janine Mateparae, Sir Jerry, Mrs Akbari, Syed Sarwar Hussain Akbari and Deputy Chief of Pakistan High Commission Abdul Malik.
Read our editorial, ‘The need to boost ties with Pakistan’ under Viewlink.