Chile–Pakistan relations

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Pakistan-Chile relations
Map indicating locations of Pakistan and Chile

Pakistan

Chile

Chile–Pakistan relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Chile and Pakistan. Formal diplomatic relations between the two states established in 2008, when Pakistan opened an embassy in Chile. As of 2010, Chile does not currently maintain an embassy in Islamabad, though it did express interest opening one. Pakistan has also closed its embassy at Santiago recently.[1]

According to a 2013 BBC World Service Poll, only 19% of Chileans surveyed view Pakistan's influence positively, with 46% expressing a negative view.[2]

Trade links[edit]

In 2006-07, approximately $69 million worth of goods was traded between the two countries.,[3] with Pakistan's exports to Chile accounting for US$66 million.

Chilean LUKSIC group mining company showed interest in making new investments in Pakistan,[4] particularly the Thar coal field which had a power generation potential of 100,000MW.[5] LUKSIC representatives were received by Pakistan Secretary Coal and Energy Development Department Sindh. According to Santiago Times,[6] LUKSIC group investment in Pakistan can be up to US$700 million.

Chilean company Antofagasta Minerals as part of a multinational consortium along with Chilean part owned Tethyan Copper Company, Casrie Bogsi, Barrick Gold Corporation from Canada are expected to invest up to US$4 billion in exploration and development of Rekodiq field in Pakistan, however, the initial investment is expected to be US$200 million.[7][8] Reqo Diq areas have the world’s fifth largest reserves of gold and copper.[9]

Bilateral visit[edit]

In October 2010, Chilean Foreign Secretary Fernando Schmidt Ariztia visited Islamabad, and held talks with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir. During the discussion the two sides showed interest in signing a free trade agreement between the two countries.[10]

Cultural Links[edit]

The Pakistani community in Chile mostly concentrated in the North of the country. The Bilal masjid in Iquique is owned by a Pakistani named Abdul Gafar Qureshi.[11] Nearly 200 Pakistanis live in Chile.[12] Catering to the educational needs of the Pakistani and Muslim community, there is a Pakistani school in Iquique.[13] The mayor of Iquique referred to the Pakistani community there as "exemplary".

In 2010, Chilean authorities accused a Pakistani student Muhammad Saif-ur-Rehman Khan of having traces of explosives at the United States embassy in Santiago, but charges were later dropped and Khan was declared innocent by authorities.[14] The Chilean nation expressed complete solidarity with the innocent student.[15] The immense outpouring of support was also evident through the widespread media coverage of the case. The Pakistani student was invited to major prime-time television and radio talk shows to relate the incident. Prominent Chilean politicians and members of the Chilean senate invited the Pakistani student to the Chilean Congress to express support. The Chilean honorary visa consul in Islamabad, Catalina Alliende personally defended the Pakistani student Muhammad Saif-ur-Rehman Khan in a Chilean court in Santiago.[16]

The Las Condes Municipality of Santiago, Chile has formally conveyed its concurrence on 22 October 2010 for setting up a “Pakistan Square” in Santiago on reciprocal basis without any financial implications. Capital Development Authority of Islamabad (CDA) had earlier allocated a space for a “Chile Square” at the intersection of Service Road East F-10 with Khayan-e-Iqbal.[17] There is also a street in Santiago named after Pakistan as Pakistán.[18]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]