Pakistan is eager to see more investment from Japanese businesses and believes its abundant workforce can help Japan address labor shortage issues, the South Asian country's envoy said in a recent interview, as he signaled optimism over an ease in domestic political tensions following the February elections.

Japanese firms are invited to "take advantage of Pakistan's liberal investment environment, as well as an extremely strategic location (connecting Asia and the Middle East)," Pakistan's Ambassador to Japan Raza Bashir Tarar told Kyodo News in Tokyo.

Tarar, who has been serving in the current post since November 2022, also said a "very natural complementarity" exists between the two countries, touching on Pakistan's growing population and Japan's rapidly aging society and declining birthrate.

"There is great scope for Pakistanis to come and work here," he said, adding that one of his focuses is to have IT engineers work in Japan not only physically but also remotely from Pakistan.

Pakistani Ambassador to Japan Raza Bashir Tarar speaks to Kyodo News in Tokyo on March 13, 2024. (Kyodo)

Regarding protests by opposition party supporters following Pakistan's controversial Feb. 8 elections, Tarar said he is hopeful to see a "more realistic, pragmatic approach on the parties concerned" and "greater realization that whatever issues we have, we should try to resolve them from the floor of parliament, not from the street."

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's Shehbaz Sharif was elected prime minister in March for the second time after his party formed a coalition with the Pakistan People's Party and other smaller parties to establish the government.

The protests have been called on by the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which is the largest group in the National Assembly following the elections. PTI members have alleged election rigging.

Tarar said creating a situation "where the rest of the world thinks that Pakistanis are always fighting over something" is bad from an investment point of view, and stressed the importance of political parties joining hands to deal with Pakistan's economic challenges, such as inflation.

With Pakistan strengthening ties with China under Beijing's signature Belt and Road global infrastructure initiative, Tarar stressed that the move was "not aimed at anybody" as he sought Japan's understanding.

"It is not a military undertaking. It is not meant to target Japan, or anybody else -- the U.S. -- for that matter," he said.

Tarar's remarks came as Japan has been intensifying security and economic cooperation through the Quad partnership, which also involves the United States, India and Australia, with the group gaining traction as a counterweight to China, particularly at a time of intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry.

Emphasizing the interdependent nature of the world, Tarar said, "All countries have to understand that there is more to be gained from peace than from confrontation."

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