ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Mohammad Sadiq Sanjrani has proposed a liberal visa regime and direct air connectivity between Pakistan and Azerbaijan to promote bilateral trade, investment and tourism.

During a meeting with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the Senate chairman said that the present state of bilateral economic ties did not commensurate with the potential and there was need to explore the possibility of cooperation in diverse fields.

Mr Sanjrani is in Baku to participate in the celebrations of establishment of a democratic parliamentary republic in Azerbaijan. He greeted President Aliyev on the 100th anniversary of the parliament of Azerbaijan.

According to a statement released by the Senate secretariat here on Thursday, Mr Sanjrani is accompanied by Senators Mohammad Azam Khan Musakhel, Mohammad Ayub Afridi and Nighat Mirza.

The Senate chairman told the president of Azerbaijan that mutual support on the conflicts of Nagorno-Kara­bakh and Kashmir testified to close understanding bet­ween Islamabad and Baku. He said that strong relationship between Azerbaijan and Pakistan was visible from the frequency of high-level interaction between the two sides and the defence cooperation was strengthening steadily.

“We want our relationship to grow further by utilising the potential,” Mr Sanjrani emphasised. He stressed that extension of North-South Transport Corridor to Gwadar Port would ensure the much needed connectivity and give boost to trade links between the two countries.

Welcoming the delegation, President Aliyev said that Pakistan was an important country and there was a huge scope to further build on cooperation and strengthen linkages.

He felicitated Mr Sanjrani on assuming the office of Senate chairman.

On the sidelines, the Sen­ate chairman held meetings with leaders, heads of parliaments and delegates from Ireland, Egypt, the UAE, Korea and other countries.

Mr Sanjrani said that parliaments had to play a dyna­mic and effective role to promote peace in the Asian region for socio-economic pro­s­perity. He said that there was need to create conducive environment for trade and investment and explore the untapped potential. He said that Pakistan supported efforts aimed at peace and stability in the region.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2018