What you need to know:
- Currently, there are more than 5,000 Pakistanis in Uganda.
The Pakistani government is set to reopen its embassy in Kampala at the beginning of next month. This was announced by Mr Agha Aslam, the coordinator of the Pakistan Association of Uganda, on Sunday.
“The High Commission of Pakistan will officially be reopened in Uganda in the first week of March. That is good news for Ugandans,” Mr Aslam said in an interview at Lira Hotel, Lira City.
The function will be officiated over by Mr Irfan Wazir, the second-in-command at their Afghanistan Embassy in Kabul.
The Pakistan Embassy closed its doors in Uganda in 1997 due to financial constraints, and since then, people who are traveling to Pakistan have been processing their visas from Nairobi, Kenya.
“The embassy was closed in 1997 because the Pakistan government wanted to reduce its expenditure. People have been processing visas from the Pakistan High Commission in Nairobi to go to Pakistan, which is very expensive and time consuming,” Mr Aslam added.
He also said there are plans to take about 25 Uganda journalists for an exchange visit in Islamabad.
“We will also facilitate Ugandan students to get their education in Pakistan, and we shall be taking 50 Ugandan students to study in Pakistan annually,” the media coordinator for Pakistan Association Uganda said.
In the next two years, he said, Pakistani heart specialists shall be mobilised from across the globe to come and offer free medical services in Uganda.
Currently, there are more than 5,000 Pakistanis in Uganda. Of these, 45 are engaged in a number of businesses in Lira City. Pakistanis under their umbrella body, Pakistan Association Lira, every year donate food and non-food items to inmates at Lira prison, Ngetta Babies Home and persons with disabilities.
“We also repaired some broken boreholes in Otuke and Oyam districts as part of our corporate social responsibility,” Mr Muhammad Sardar Nawaz, the president of Pakistan Association Lira, said.
In December 2021, they also organised a free eye camp at Lira Regional Referral Hospital.