61 years ago Egypt and Pakistan established diplomatic relations, and since then they have maintained time-honored relations. Even before the independence of Pakistan, the only country that was visited by Quaid-e-Azam Mohamed Ali Jinnah was Egypt (along with Britain). In 1951, the two countries signed a friendship agreement, signifying the strong ties between the two countries. Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, who visited Pakistan in 1960 for the first time, interfered in 1965 to halt the Indian-Pakistani war. Pakistan played host to some Egyptian warships during the 1973 Egyptian-Israeli war, so Pakistan actually contributed to the Egyptian victory.
Further more, on assuming office in 2008, Pakistan Prime Minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani, made his first trip abroad to Egypt. Within a year time, PM Gilani visited Egypt again in July 2009.
Egypt continues to support Pakistan in its war against terrorism. In May 2009, and upon direct instructions of President Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister visited Islamabad to show Egypt’s support and solidarity with the people and government of Pakistan. Along with the visit, Egypt was the first country to send relief consignment for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and still sending humanitarian assistance to Pakistan for the same purpose.
Egypt and Pakistan are members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation. Moreover, the two countries are jointly coordinating on different fronts in international organizations. In September 2008, under the banner of OIC, Egypt and Pakistan, on behalf of the Muslim World, presented and sponsored a UN Human Rights Council Resolution to ban defaming of religion.
Economically, the volume of trade between the two countries increased by 55% in 2007-2008 to reach $313 millions, which still remains relatively low compared to the potentials and the close relations which both countries enjoy.
In investment, among the different Egyptian enterprises investing in the Pakistani market, Orascom Telecom Holding (Mobilink) is actively engaged in the Telecommunication sector in Pakistan with a total investment exceeding 2 billion USD. On the other side, Several Pakistani investments in the field of textile industry are based now in Egypt.
Al-Azhar University continues to offer its 30 scholarships to the Pakistani students each year. This number is expected to increase to 50 soon. Additionally, 30 Egyptian professors have been sent to teach at the International Islamic University in Islamabad. Furthermore, Pakistani scholars benefit from the scholarships offered by the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture.
In addition, Egypt and Pakistan have started to open up new windows for cooperation in several fields, including agriculture, health, higher education, technical support, ICT, and others.