DUSHANBE: Pakistan and Tajikistan have vowed to work for early completion of a power project, CASA 1000, which will enable the former to import 1,000MW of electricity to meet its growing energy needs.
Addressing a press conference along with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon here on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan would also explore other avenues of energy cooperation with the Central Asian Republic.
He said his talks with Tajik leaders covered various aspects of bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.
He said it had been decided that the Joint Commission on Energy and Infrastructure, set up last year, would meet twice a year to explore possibilities of cooperation in the fields of energy and infrastructure.
Leaders vow to work for early completion of power project
An agreement has been reached to enhance connectivity by air, road and rail for promoting economic relations, people-to-people contacts and tourism. A proposal by a Tajik airline to fly to Pakistan has been accepted and it is hoped the operation will start soon.
“Our bilateral trade has grown significantly in recent years. Through mutual efforts, it can be sustained and increased further.”
Mr Sharif said Tajikistan was Pakistan’s closest neighbour in Central Asia, located at the confluence of South and Central Asia, and was a gateway to the region. Similarly, Pakistan offered the shortest possible route to the sea to countries in the region through its ports, he said.
He said it was important for Pakistan’s socio-economic development to eradicate 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.”
Mr Sharif congratulated the government of Tajikistan for successfully holding an important high-level conference on the Implementation of the International Decade for Action “Water for life” 2005-2015.
He said his visit to Dushanbe had provided an opportunity to once again reflect on common goals of progress and prosperity and the development of infrastructure for regional integration.
Mr Sharif said that President Rahmon had accepted his invitation to visit Pakistan.
President Rahmon said that both sides had expressed interest in promoting relations in communication, transport, education, defence and security sectors.
Both the countries also agreed to combat terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking.
Earlier, the two leaders held one-to-one talks followed by a delegation-level meeting.
At the delegation-level talks, Pakistan proposed the holding of the fifth session of the Joint Ministerial Commission in Islamabad on Oct 7-8.
The two sides emphasised the importance of the Joint Commission on Energy and Infrastructure set up on the instructions of the Tajik president and Prime Minister Sharif.
Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatemi and other senior officials attended the delegation-level talks.
Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2015