The German Ambassador, His Excellency Alfred Granas, addressing a meeting with Karachi Council of Foreign Relations (KCFR) said that Germany is maintaining diplomatic and investment relations with Pakistan for 70 years and that Germany considers this region a very important region.
He added that Germany has given 150 million dollars aid to Pakistan and that Germany’s balance of trade with Pakistan is favorable to both the countries. Germany has been collaborating in electronics, medical and in environmental fields.
There is no official position of German government on CPEC but it’s a good economic project for Pakistan. Unlike Pakistan that operates coal and nuclear plants, Germany is now closing down nuclear and shifting to renewable energy.
Replying to a question he said that to supply weapons to Ukraine is not against German constitution.
Germany is in NATO and that’s its stance on Israel coincides with NATO stance.
He said that there is no consensus on European Defense as proposed by French President, because Germany will have to forego its welfare support program, and spend more money on defense expenditure.
The Ambassador warded off the question that European leaders don’t think for themselves and do what America tells them to do.
The Ambassador also said that due to political uncertainty and unfavorable business environment Siemens Coy and Deutsche Bank have left Pakistan; However, Pakistan has lot of potential for future growth.
Germany’s point of view on Israel’s statement that the United Nations is ending, the Ambassador replied that end of United Nations can only occur when all of its members decide to leave it, which is something he did not see.
The Ambassador was further asked about CPEC the Ambassador said that nobody could blame Pakistan for accepting the investment; however, the benefits and costs of the strings attached with it are for Pakistan to decide.
Replying to another question as to how did Germany manage the energy crisis when gas was cut off from Russia and Nord 1 pipeline was blown up or damaged? He replied that a lot of efforts from their Ministry of Energy had been done by arranging LNG and alternate energy from neighboring countries. Also energy sourcing became more expensive than Russian gas and therefore it had affected their exports too.
During a question pointing out about two important German Organizations which were assisting Pakistan in development projects both in the social sector and so also in infrastructure development.
The Ambassador responded that both GIZ and KFW were still active and very much had their presence in Pakistan.
Even though the quantum of contribution may have reduced, as compared to some years ago. Both would be willing to look at viable projects, if approached for by the Pakistani authorities.
In comparison, GIZ is currently more active with some ongoing projects as GIZ promotes training, employment and sustainable economic growth in Pakistan. Together with the state-run vocational training institutes, GIZ improves the quality of training and tailors programmes to the needs of the labour market.
The Chairperson of KCFR, Mrs. Nadira Panjwani, underscoring the robust collaboration between Germany and Pakistan welcomed the Ambassador and spoke about the historically friendly and stable relations between Pakistan and Germany highlighting Germany’s role in the industrialization of Pakistan and the support of various German aid and development bodies in the socio economic growth of Pakistan.
She paid warm tributes to iconic German personalities like Dr Annemarie Schimmel and Dr Ruth Pfau who have rendered valuable services to Pakistan.