The leaders of Pakistan and Tajikistan on Wednesday vowed early completion of the CASA 1000 project, enabling the former to import 1,000 megawatt electricity to address its growing energy needs.
Addressing a press stakeout along with President Emomali Rahmon during his two-day visit to Tajikistan, Premier Nawaz said Pakistan would also explore further avenues of energy cooperation with the Central Asian Republic.
He said he held wide-ranging consultations with the Tajik leaders, covering the whole spectrum of bilateral relations, and regional and international issues of mutual concern.
“We reviewed our excellent political relations and agreed that there is a vast potential for expansion of cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, investment, education, science, culture, energy, transport, defence and security.”
He said the two countries decided that the Joint Commission on Energy and Infrastructure, established in June 2014 would meet twice a year to explore the possibilities of mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of energy and infrastructure.
“We agreed on enhancing connectivity by air, road and rail for the promotion of our economic relations, people-to-people contacts and tourism. We have concurred with the proposal by a Tajik airline to fly to Pakistan and hope the operation will start soon.”
The prime minister said the two sides also agreed to strengthen economic cooperation by optimally utilising the existing institutional mechanisms, especially through the Pakistan-Tajikistan Joint Ministerial Commission. “Our bilateral trade has grown significantly in recent years. Through mutual efforts, it can be sustained and increased further.”
He said it was important for Pakistan’s socio-economic development to eliminate the scourge of international terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and other threats to regional and global security. “We have once again resolved to collectively fight against these evils,” he added.
The premier said both Pakistan and Tajikistan were cooperating closely at the UN, NAM, G-77, OIC, ECO and SCO. “We reiterated our mutual desire to deepen this cooperation. We agreed to work closely on the important issue of reform of the UN Security Council.”
He said the parliaments of the two countries were interacting closely and reinforcing the efforts of the two governments for closer ties. “We noted with satisfaction that our bilateral relations are steadily growing,” he added, “Our forward-looking vision aims at further elevating the Pakistan-Tajikistan strategic relationship, to newer heights.” He congratulated the Tajikistan government for the successful holding of an important high-level Conference on the Implementation of the International Decade for Action ‘Water for life’ 2005-2015.
Speaking on the occasion, President Rahmon said both sides expressed mutual interest to further promoting their relations in communication, transport, education, defence and security and other fields. “We noted that both Tajikistan and Pakistan are willing tofacilitate trilateral agreement between the two countries,” he added. He said both the countries also agreed to fight the issues of terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking and its control. Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Rahmon held one-one-one talks followed by a delegation-level meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2015.