ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has agreed to explore the possibility of importing an additional 1,200MW of electricity from Tajikistan, apart from 1,000MW from the Central Asian State under the under-implementation Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000).
This emerged during a meeting between President Mamnoon Hussain and a Tajik parliamentary delegation at the Presidency here on Wednesday. The Tajik team was headed by Chairman of Majlisi Namoyandagon, Zuhurov Shukurjon.
According to a press release, President Hussain said that Pakistan was looking forward to the opening ceremony of the (CASA-1000) project scheduled for May.
“A committee has been formed to prepare a preliminary report about the import of an additional 1,000-1,200 MW from Tajikistan outside CASA-1000,” he said
The president expressed the hope that the CASA-1000 project would prove to be a milestone in boosting relations between the two countries.
Under the project, Tajikistan will export 1,000MW hydel electricity to Pakistan by 2,018 through a 750km transmission line at an estimated cost of $1160 million.
According to media reports, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will participate in the opening ceremony of the laying of the transmission line in Tajikistan.
“Tajikistan is a blessed country having the resources of producing about 50,000MW electricity because of a unique network of about 1,000 rivers and lakes besides a huge cluster of glaciers,” President Hussain said.
About the bilateral ties, he said that Pakistan and Tajikistan enjoyed excellent relations deeply rooted in common history, religion and culture.
He said that the exchange of parliamentary, business and cultural delegations would solidify the relations and increase people-to-people contact.
The president called for making concerted efforts for enhancing bilateral trade commensurate to its potential and increasing the volume of bilateral trade to $500 million as agreed upon by Pakistan and Tajikistan.
He also stressed the need for enhancing cooperation in defence sector and suggested that Tajik military officers might avail training facilities in Pakistan.
Touching the issue of terror, he said that Pakistan had been the worst victim of terrorism and extremism and it had rendered immense sacrifices in fighting the menace. Operation Zarb-i-Azb will continue till elimination of all terrorists. Coming to the regional scenario, Mr Hussain said that peace in Afghanistan was necessary for peace, security and stability in Pakistan and the region. “Islamabad is trying its utmost to facilitate reconciliation in Afghanistan through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States.”
“Pakistan is sincerely pursuing the vision of a peaceful neighbourhood and desires to have friendly relations with all neighbours, including India, for which resolution of Kashmir issue is essential,” he added.
Zuhurov Shukurjon expressed the hope that bilateral ties would reach new heights through mutual cooperation.
He expressed his country’s desire for linkages with the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor and said that projects were already underway for rail and road connectivity with the CPEC.
Tajikistan is ready to be a partner in the regional trade and economic connectivity project.
It was agreed in the meeting that Central Asian States would take benefit from the CPEC for boosting economic activities as the economic corridor would serve as a bridge between Central Asia and the world through Gwadar port.
Mr Shukurjon invited President Mamnoon Hussain on behalf of the president of his country to visit Tajikistan at his earliest convenience.
Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2016