ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon shake hands 
on Wednesday.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon shake hands on Wednesday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Tajikistan on Wednes­day vowed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, rail and road connectivity, trade, investment, agriculture and culture.

The two sides also pledged to complete much-awaited Central Asia-South Asia (CASA-1000) power project to meet energy needs.

Both states reiterated these commitments on the first day of a two-day official visit of Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon to Pakistan.

President Rahmon and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also held a one-on-one meeting followed by a joint statement.

Both sides resolve to complete CASA-1000 power project

“We are looking forward to work closely with President Rahmon for the completion of Casa-1000 power project as early as possible as well as for establishing rail, road and energy connectivity with Central Asian countries,” Prime Minister Sharif said in the statement.

He hoped that the Tajik president’s visit would usher in a “new era of cooperation and development” between the two countries.

According to the Prime Minister Office, the two sides discussed regional and international issues besides focusing on strengthening their ties in diverse fields. Later, the two leaders led the delegation-level talks.

The PM said Pakistan had been the first country that established ties with Tajikistan some 31 years back. Since then both countries had been enjoying excellent cordial and friendly ties. “Pakistan wants to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation and ties in all fields including energy, trade, joint ventures in agriculture and food etc,” he added.

Prime Minister Sharif further said Pakistan attached immense importance to its bilateral ties with Tajikistan as it was a gateway to the CARs [Central Asian Republics].

Mr Sharif said he and Tajik president held productive meetings to further strengthen the bilateral relations and promote trade, investment and culture between the people of two brotherly nations. Regard­ing their earlier discussions, PM Shehbaz said the two leaders had “very productive and useful” talks which focused on strengthening relations between their countries, promoting investment and enhancing trade and cultural exchanges.

President Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, reciprocating the warm feelings for the government and people of Pakistan, said that his country attached high priority to its ties with Pakistan.

He said both countries had been making joint efforts to further promote the friendly ties and expressed the optimism that the MoUs would give new impetus to these relations.

He said during their delegation-level deliberations, they had discussed government-to-government level contacts, security, economic situation, global economic decay, energy and connectivity activities and linking of port city of Karachi.

The Tajik president said they also had useful exchange of views on CASA-1000, cooperation in agriculture, energy connectivity, joint ventures in food technology, trade, science and technology and cooperation between the business communities of the two countries.

President Rahmon said both countries shared commonalities which ser-ved to further strengthen these ties.

The two sides also expressed satisfaction over cooperation in security and reaffirmed to face contemporary challenges jointly like extremism, terrorism and radicalism, he added.

He said they also acknowledged the significance of concerted global efforts for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, adding Tajikistan and Pakistan were also closely cooperating at the global level including UN, Economic Coope­ration Organisation (ECO), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and other multilateral foras.

He also wished for progress and prosperity of Pakistan and its people.

Earlier, President Rahmon was accorded a red-carpet welcome upon his arrival at the Prime Minister’s House, where he was received by the premier. He was presented with a guard of honour. Later, he also planted a sapling in the lawns of the PM House.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2022

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