Dawn News

President Asif Ali Zardari—AP Photo
President Asif Ali Zardari—AP Photo

TEHRAN: President Asif Ali Zardari and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon on Thursday discussed bilateral ties, cooperation in trade and energy sectors and vowed to make the forthcoming quadrilateral summit in Islamabad a success.

President Zardari and President Rahmon, besides discussing the bilateral ties spanning over a decade, agreed to further strengthen and make the relationship more meaningful.

They also discussed regional situation and the way forward to address the issues of common concern.

President Zardari, who has already extended an invitation to the presidents of Russia, Afghanistan and Tajikistan to participate in the 4th Quadrilateral Summit in Islamabad on September 26-27, hoped that the meeting would help the participating countries chart out a joint future course of action for regional peace.

President Zardari said that being the immediate neighbours, both Pakistan and Tajikistan have vital stakes with the regional peace and stability.

He reiterated Pakistan's stance of fully supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned transition plan.

President Rahmon said that his country shared the desire of Pakistan for lasting peace in the region and would work closely with the regional countries to achieve this goal.

The two leaders, who have met frequently in the past, reviewed the progress made on earlier decisions and stressed expeditious implementation for the mutual benefit of the peoples of two countries.

Pakistan and Tajikistan have already signed about 20 agreements for cooperation in energy, communications, investments and industry, air transport, banking and financial, agricultural and food industry, transport and constructions of roads, science and technology.

President Zardari while noting the increase in bilateral trade with Tajikistan said that Pakistan's economic relations with Tajikistan were on an upward trajectory.

However, he pointed out that there was still a rich potential to increase them manifolds.

The President said that the two sides needed to work harder on the removal of impediments and invest more on building air, road and rail links, besides easing the problems faced by the businessmen of the two countries.

Pakistan has been urging Afghanistan to facilitate the opening of a road linkage through the Wakhan corridor as it provides a shorter route to Tajikistan.

The leaders also discussed the CASA-1000 (Central Asia-South Asia) project, under which Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan would supply 1000 MW electricity to Pakistan through Afghanistan, becoming the first energy project connecting Central Asia and South Asia.

Afghanistan too will get 300 MW power from the project.

The Tajik President said that the centuries old historical and cultural links between the people of Pakistan and Tajikistan provided a strong basis for further enhancing their economic relations, tourism and people-to-people contacts.

The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.


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