ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif endorsed a proposal to start a ferry service between Karachi, Gwadar and Oman’s capital Muscat on Thursday. “This initiative will further strengthen ties between the countries,” he said in a meeting with Oman State Council President Dr Yahya Mahfoodh Salim Al-Manthri, at the PM House in Islamabad. The prime minister said the ferry service would provide an affordable alternate for a great number of people who regularly travelled via these routes. He said Pakistan and Oman are naturally allies due to geographical closeness and the regard that the Pakistani leadership and its people have for Oman. Sharif said Pakistan was grateful to Oman for its support in connection to the countries Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Free Trade Agreement. The prime minister expressed satisfaction that Oman was hosting a sizeable Pakistani contingent which is currently playing a part in various sectors of its industry. The premier said that both countries could benefit greatly through a mutual exchange of specialists in the fields of education, science and technology and he invited Oman to participate in the infrastructure development, energy related projects, and the consumer based industry in Pakistan. The Omani delegation consisted Education and Research Committee Member Sheikh Hamed Mohammed Abdallah Bahwan Al Mukhaini, Culture Media and Tourism Committee Member Mohamed Ahmed Ali Al Rawas, Economic Committee Member Dr Ahmed Sulaiman Saleh Al-Maimani, Social Committee Deputy Chairman Wafa Salim Ali Al Harrasi and Member Dr Aisha Ahmed Yousuf Al Washahi. Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, Senator Taj Haider and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.