Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan agreed on Thursday to strengthen their bilateral relations in diverse areas from trade to the economy and from people-to-people contacts to tourism.
“Our political relations are excellent. We have agreed to further improve our economic relations, people-to-people contacts, tourism and energy,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is on a two-day official visit to the Central Asian country, told a joint press meeting with his Kyrgyz counterpart Temir Sariyev after holding one-to-one and delegation-level talks.
The two countries also signed an agreement and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to further strengthen relations in different fields.
Premier Nawaz said Islamabad-Bishkek relations continue to improve steadily. The relations were based on mutual respect, common faith and shared interests, he added.
He said the two countries have shared interests on a broad-range of issues, including peace and stability, countering terrorism, narcotics and extremism, trade and economic cooperation, as well as regional integration.
“During our talks today, the Kyrgyz prime minister and I reviewed all important aspects of our bilateral relations. We focused on the need for regular political exchanges between Pakistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, including high-level visits,” Premier Nawaz noted. He said both the sides stressed the need for fast-track progress on energy projects. “It is highly satisfactory that all important agreements regarding CASA-1,000 Project have been concluded.”
Pakistan’s economic growth, the prime minister said, was heavily dependent on electricity CASA-1,000 could help in mitigating the country’s energy deficit. “We should collectively work for implementation of this project at the earliest.”
Pakistan wishes to develop an elaborate network of communication linkages. “We have taken the initiative to develop Gwadar Port and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. This will facilitate regional connectivity and enable Central Asian states to use our ports. Similarly, we will have access to this region.”
He said that Pakistan wanted to work in close cooperation with Kyrgyzstan for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council that takes into account aspirations of all member states. “Instead of creating more centres of privilege, the reform should pay particular attention to the interests of smaller states and make the Security Council more democratic,” he added.
He said Pakistan looked forward to becoming a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and would appreciate the support of Kyrgyzstan.
While talking about training courses, Premier Nawaz stated that Pakistan would continue to provide training courses to Kyrgyz nationals. “More than 60 young and mid-career diplomats have been provided training at the Foreign Service Academy, Islamabad.”
In his remarks, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariev said the close contacts and trust-based relationship between the leaders of the two countries played an important role in the development of bilateral relations.
“There is good cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan in the field of regional security. We discussed with the prime minister issues of interaction between our governments to address threats to the spread of religious radicalism, international terrorism, and drug trafficking,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.