Former Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and leader of the coalition ruling party, Matteo Salvini, have expressed his support for the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) facing human rights violations in the region.
He also promised to raise the issue at the European Union (EU) forums, received a press release here issued by Embassy of Pakistan in Italy.
Leader of the second largest party in the Italian Parliament Salvini has been a very active member of the EU for many years.
In a meeting with Pakistan Ambassador in Italy Jauhar Saleem, Salvini also appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for promoting peace and human rights in its region and expressed his keenness to expand bilateral ties in all areas, especially trade and investment.
During the one-to-one discussion, a mutual desire for high level exchanges was evinced with Senator Salvini inviting Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Italy and Saleem inviting the Northern League leader to visit Pakistan as the head of a parliamentary delegation.
Saleem lauded the steadfastness of the Italian government in the face of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a loss of over hundred thousand lives in Italy and hugely impacted its economy.
He also briefed the Italian leader on the smart strategies employed by the government of Pakistan to curb the spread of Covid-19 and mitigate its effects on the economy.
He said that Italy was Pakistan’s ninth largest export destination in the world. The total volume of trade between Italy and Pakistan is over $1.5 billion and the balance of trade is in Pakistan’s favour.
The ambassador said that Italy had supported Pakistan’s case of Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP-Plus) during the review in 2020. Italy had helped Pakistan in olive cultivation and now the Rome embassy was facilitating Italian firms to invest in Pakistan, he said.
He said the Pakistan government was facilitating Italian investment in textile, leather, industrial stones and agriculture sectors.
Italy hosts the largest Pakistani diaspora in EU who are contributing to Pakistan’s development through their remittances and investment ventures.