By Hanif Khalid www.thenews.com.pk
RAWALPINDI: A delegation of the leading English newspaper of Gulf countries, Gulf News visited the offices of dailies The News and Jang here on Monday evening.
The members of the delegation had a round of different sections of the two dailies and asked questions to know about their working. Led by the Editor-in-Chief, Gulf News of UAE, Abdul Hamid Ahmad, the delegation included its Managing Editor Mohammed Almezel and the Chief Reporter Ashfaq Ahmed.
During their talks spreading over almost two hours with Resident Editors The News and Jang Mohammad Malick and Hanif Khalid, the delegation discussed Pak-UAE relations, brotherhood and friendly relations between the two people.
The leader of the delegation recalled that UAE had made sufficient investments in Pakistan. He said Itisalat had purchased PTCL but the case had become disputed. All assets of the PTCL were not transferred to Itisalat, he said. Maximum number of investors are not attracted to Pakistan because of rampant corruption in the country. He said building industry in the UAE had gone slow with many projects either closed or progressing at slow pace.
Abdul Hamid Ahmad said Al Maktoum International Airport, besides the Jebel Ali Port, has been opened for cargo traffic. When fully commissioned in 2017, it is going to be shaped as the largest and most modern airport of the world, being land, sea and air center for logistics and transport. The Editor-in-Chief, Gulf News, hailed the process of “Aman Ki Aasha’’ launched by the Jang and the Times of India groups.
When asked about the idea of unity among Muslim countries in the field of media he said this should not happen at the cost of ties with the rest of the world. He referred to the brotherly relations between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and a variety of incentives in the UAE for foreign investors. No income tax is there in UAE but customs duty is there along with visa and services fee.
He said Pakistanis had made heavy investments in Dubai and other Gulf states. They have also purchased residential accommodations, flats and commercial property. There is no risk for the property owned by Pakistanis in UAE, he assured saying they are well protected under the law and constitution. However that does not mean that the person who owns the property becomes citizens of the country.
To a question, Abdul Hamid Ahmad explained that the people of UAE are protected and being taken care of in line with the vision of the founder of the country Sheikh Zaid Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Referring to the foreign policy of the country, he said it is based on peaceful settlement of disputes and non-interference in affairs of other countries. About media policy he said the ministry of information does not exist in UAE but the National Media Council is the regulatory body. However, it had never banned any publication on permanent basis. Publication of only two newspapers was temporarily stopped, he explained.
He said Dubai is the commercial hub, Sharjah is cultural center and Abu Dhabi is our center of tourism in UAE. He agreed that foreigners are faced with the issue of residency visa in UAE. However, the investors will be able to secure it for 6 months with facility to get it renewed. The recent financial crisis had strengthened the federation because our constitution had inbuilt mechanism to confront crises, he said. He said Pakistan is a friendly country but if terrorists will be exported from here then we have to review present relations.