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In this handout photo taken and released by Malaysia's Department of Information, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (right) shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan after a joint press conference in Putrajaya. -AFP/Malaysia's Department of Information

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and Pakistan have formally signed a treaty on extradition today.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the treaty would strengthen the bilateral relationship by enhancing security against transnational crime in both countries.

"It will involve anyone including terrorists or the common criminals who try to hide and seek refuge in both countries," he told reporters after witnessing the signing of the said treaty with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan after their meetings.

The Pakistan prime minister is here for a two-day work visit starting Monday.

Imran said Pakistan had previously extradited a wanted criminal who was living in Malaysia.

"The criminal was involved in lots of murder (cases) and we extradited the person from Malaysia before the treaty was even formed."

The official portal of the Attorney General’s Chambers stated that Malaysia has formed mutual assistance with more than 10 countries in criminal matters.

The countries include Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Korea.

Dr Mahathir also said Malaysia and Pakistan had enjoyed good relations in many areas.

"This visit reflects our mutual commitment to further enhance our long history of close bilateral relations.

"We agreed to encourage more exchanges or visits at all levels to a strengthen the foundation and set the tone and future direction of our bilateral relations," Dr Mahathir said.

On bilateral economic cooperation, Dr Mahathir said the two countries acknowledged the need for both sides to further explore the huge potentials available in Malaysia and Pakistan.

"We reaffirmed the importance of the Malaysia-Pakistan Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (MPCEPA) signed on 8 November 2007 in Kuala Lumpur.

"We also agreed on the need for regular discussions to strengthen trade relationship by removing barriers in key sectors and addressing the bilateral goods imbalance.

"We look forward to convene at the 4th Joint Committee Meeting in Islamabad," he said.

Dr Mahathir also expressed his hope for Malaysia to expand business opportunities in Pakistan.

"As you know, we have an automotive plant in Pakistan to produce cars. I hope this can go further into other engineering businesses.

"Pakistan has a very big population of 200 million. A lot of their needs can be produced in Pakistan for business ventures with Malaysia," he said.

Dr Mahathir said he and Imran also discussed other areas of bilateral cooperation including defence, law enforcement, tourism and education.

"We also exchanged views on the current affairs of the Muslim Ummah globally, including the situation in Palestine and the Rakhine State.

"I also shared with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the outcome of the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019."

The Pakistan prime minister also reaffirmed the commitments made between the two nations and expressed his gratitude to Malaysia for speaking out on the Kashmir issues.

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