ASTANA: Pakistan and Kazakhstan on Saturday agreed to execute joint projects in the fields of defence, energy and communication to widen bilateral cooperation.
The agreement was reached during a one-to-one meeting between President Mamnoon Hussain and Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev.
The president is here to attend the first summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on science and technology, being hosted by the Kazakh government from Sept 10 to 11.
Mr Hussain, who was accompanied by Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan Abdul Salik Khan, thanked the Kazakh government for a warm welcome and hospitality. He was of the opinion that bilateral ties should be turned into a multiple partnership and called for enhancing trade and relaxation in visa policy.
Mamnoon arrives in Astana to attend OIC summit on science, technology
President Hussain thanked the Kazakh government for adopting a just stance on the issue of membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Besides underscoring the need for enhancing defence ties, the president also offered that Pakistan could assist in imparting certain skills to the Kazakh people.
He said Pakistan desired enhancing bilateral engagements in the fields of oil and gas and Pakistani firms could invest in the sectors in Kazakhstan.
He also called for establishing air and road links between the two countries to enhance the trade volume.
Earlier, President Hussain arrived here on a four-day official visit, mainly to attend the OIC summit.
On his arrival at the Astana Nazarbayev International Airport, the president and First Lady Begum Mehmooda Mamnoon Hussain were warmly received by Kazakh Minister for Defence and Aerospace Industry Beibit Atamkulov and Astana’s Deputy Mayor Amanshayev Yermek.
Pakistan’s ambassador to Kazakhstan and senior officials of the embassy were also present.
A traditionally attired girl presented a bouquet to the president which followed the salute by guards.
A heavy agenda awaits the president in the Kazakh capital who besides attending the OIC summit would also attend the closing ceremony of Astana Expo 2017 on Future Energy.
The president is one of eight leaders of the Muslim world to deliver their statements at the inaugural session of the summit being attended by the heads of state and government from around 22 Muslim countries and delegates from around 57 states.
Mr Hussain held a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the summit. The president is expected to also meet presidents of Bangladesh and Bosnia.
In Islamabad, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani assumed the office of acting president of Pakistan in the absence of President Hussain.
With Mr Rabbani performing the duties of acting president, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be performing those of the acting chairman of Senate. According to the Senate secretariat, a formal notification has been issued to this effect.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2017